The PlayStation 5 is coming.
We don't know exactly when, and we don't know exactly how much it will cost. We don't even know exactly what it will do.
But more details are emerging about Sony's next generation console, and how it plans to win over gamers.
They include a host of specs that it says can power games to do things never before thought possible, like the near-total removal of loading screens.
We still don't know anything definitive about the PlayStation 5's price; it might be that it's not even set.
Informed guesses, however, suggest that it might cost somewhere in the region of £450, or $499.
We know very little about this, too, but slightly more.
Sony has repeatedly said that the PlayStation 5 is coming in the "Holiday" season. It's safe to say that means before the end of December, and the most likely date comes sometimes after the beginning of November.
Microsoft has said that its Xbox Series X is coming in November. It's perhaps unlikely that Sony will want to be long behind.
A number of leaks have appeared to confirm that. Recently, for instance, a blog post from the developers of Fortnite indicated that an update coming on 17 November would "arrive in time" for the launch of the new Xbox and PlayStation – suggesting that it could be coming at some point in the couple of weeks that follow.
How to pre-order
Sony has done something it never has before this time around, and allowed people to pre-order directly from its website, even before the details of the console have actually been announced.
But you will have to ask for an invitation to do so, and Sony says that only select people will get one. They'll be chosen partly on the basis of their PlayStation history, it said, and can sign up to be considered through Sony's US website.
Sony will almost certainly make the console available through the more traditional means – pre-orders through retailers, and then normal purchases – in addition to its own route. But those are yet to go live.
After being very coy indeed, Sony finally gave us a look at the design of the console in June. It didn't conform to any of the expectations, and drew reactions ranging from the very positive to the mocking.
At the same time, it said that there actually be two versions of the console: the standard one, and the "digital edition", which won't have an optical drive. As well as presumably allowing that version to be cheaper, it is also slightly slimmer.
Sony has been very very up-front about the specs in the new console. During an event in March that was focused primarily on developers, it gave away a host of information on what will be found in the console.
That includes a AMD Zen 2-based CPU that will have 8 cores at 3.5 GHz, a 10.28 TFLOP GPU and 16GB of memory. The spec it has seemed most proud of, however, is the internal storage: a custom 825GB SSD that Sony says is far faster than previous generations, and will allow for entirely new kinds of experiences.
For the most part, Sony has preferred to concentrate on what the specs do, rather than being all that explicit in listing the numbers. Faster processing will allow the console to give over devoted processing power to its 3D audio engine, allowing for more developed sounds, for instance; and the speedier storage should drastically shorten or even entirely do away with loading screens.
Controllers and accessories
We probably know more about the things you'll use with the new PlayStation than we do about the console itself. Sony has been fairly forthcoming about the accessories that will accompany the release.
It said earlier this year that the new version of the DualSense controller would have haptic feedback for more precise vibrations that match events in games; adaptive triggers that can seemingly push back to match things happening on screen, such as the action of pulling back a bow to shoot an arrow; and a built-in microphone array so that people can chat without a headset.
But it will make a headset if you need one: the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, to be precise. That has microphones in too, but its most fututistic feature is that it is built for the 3D audio that is set to come with the new console, and Sony promises that it will "put you at the centre of incredibly immersive soundscapes where it feels as if the sound comes from every direction".
In addition, Sony will be selling cameras, charging stations for the controllers, and media remotes. All of them have the same design as the console itself: white and smooth-looking.
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