Rewind back to May 2013. Microsoft revealed the brand new Xbox One with a frankly disastrous press conference focusing on one thing…TV! Now back in 2020 under new leadership, Microsoft is looking to be very strong competition for Sony for the top crown, notably with its Xbox Series X.
For me, I think this all started at the Game Awards 2019. On that night, we saw a very confident Microsoft come out and reveal the Xbox Series X and next-gen title Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II from Ninja Theory. This was hugely unexpected considering the console was not due to launch for another year. Since then, Microsoft has had hands-on with the new console, deep-dives with Digital Foundry whilst Sony remained very quiet. Sony has released images of the new DualSense controller and did have a very business-like conference with Mark Cerny going through technical details in recent weeks, but we certainly know less about the PS5 than Xbox’s next-generation system.
But What About The Games?
What is not in doubt is that PlayStation has certainly had the stronger first-party line-up of games this generation. Microsoft has been struggling in this area the whole generation, but with many studio purchases such as Obsidian and Ninja Theory in recent years, it is something they are trying to rectify going forward.
The Xbox Series X does have a huge seller on Day One: the hugely-anticipated Halo Infinite. Xbox fans have been waiting five years for this game since Halo 5 released in 2015. We can also expect Forza Motorsport 8 or at least a new Forza entry that will also likely launch alongside the console. Microsoft has confirmed though that all first-party games for the first two years of the next-gen’s life-cycle will also release on Xbox One alongside PC.
On the PlayStation side of things, the only confirmed first-party game is Godfall, developed in partnership with Gearbox. Obviously it is inevitable that we will see sequels to the popular PS4 exclusives such as God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. But will these appear at launch? This is highly unlikely. A Horizon sequel will likely be the furthest along, but it is unlikely we will get it on launch.
Sony might have something else up its sleeve for launch day, though. Bluepoint’s project expected to be a Demon Souls remake could make the cut with a new Grand Turismo possible to show off the shiny new graphics of the PS5. But will Sony have a Halo Infinite calibre game at launch? We will have to see.
Is It All About The Price?
In a recent Bloomberg report, it is understood that Sony will be limiting its supply of the PS5 during its first year in the market. The company has reportedly told assembly partners it plans to ship 5-6 million units in the fiscal year ending March 2021. This is compared to the 7.5 million units the PS4 shipped in its first two quarters on the market.
This low supply could mean Sony may price the console between $499 -$549 (£400-£450). Microsoft may decide to price the Xbox Series X in a very similar manner, but there is the heavily rumored ‘Lockhart’ console (very likely called the Xbox Series S) which could cost as little as $300/£250. With the PS5 and Series X likely to be expensive, Series S will offer many an affordable entry point to the next-generation of games, which gives Microsoft an edge. It is not expected that Sony will ship more than one PS5 model at launch.
So When Can We Expect More Information?
Many rumours are suggesting we can expect to see more from both Microsoft and Sony next month (May). Colteastwood, who is largely involved in the Xbox Community, uploaded a video stating Microsoft will have two events for the new Xbox with one coming at the beginning of May. Also, Phil Spencer in a recent tweet said the ‘next step’ (which is games) is not too far away.
As for PlayStation, VGC reported that Sony planned the full reveal of PS5, however, this may be subject to change.