My biggest takeaway from Sony's PlayStation 5 showcase on Wednesday was that it was full of great visuals and announcements, with a terrific flow.
Start strong, finish strong: That's the big rule for any presentation. If you look at this PS5 showcase, we got blockbuster news to kick things off with Final Fantasy XVI being announced as a PlayStation exclusive, which is a big coup for the already impressive lineup of Sony games in the next era of the console wars vs. Microsoft's Xbox.
Speaking of exclusives, we then got extended Spider-Man: Miles Morales gameplay footage (Boy, do I miss fairs)! The gameplay looks terrific, and Insomniac, the game's developer, tweeted that it would be available Nov. 12, the same day as the PS5's release. For people who are waiting to buy a PS5, the game also will be available on the PS4.
Following Spider-Man, there was a steady stream of hits, including a trailer for a new Harry Potter open-world game called Hogwarts Legacy, the announcement of an open Alpha of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for PS4 users this weekend, some great fighting mechanics and some cool graphics across several games.
The showcase saved the best (or at least most important to many) for last, announcing a PS5 release date of Nov. 12 for the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea and Nov. 19 for the rest of the world. Sony also revealed the PS5 will cost $499.99 and $399.99 for the digital-only version. Just when you thought the showcase was over, we got a surprise announcement, like a hidden scene at the end of the credits of a movie, with a teaser for a new title in the God of War franchise -- Ragnarok.
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Sony has definitely been winning the presentation game, not just in terms of content but also the numbers: Over 4 million people watched the show across Twitch and YouTube, according to esports reporter Rod "Slasher" Breslau. When compared to the initial 2.5 million views across YouTube and Twitch that Slasher reported for Microsoft's Xbox games showcase in July, Sony is clearly in the lead in the "eyeballs on the product" department. We'll see if this showcase can eventually top the over 14 million views on YouTube that the June Playstation showcase has accrued.
Sony is also ahead of Microsoft when it comes to console sales. The PlayStation 2 remains the highest-selling console of all time, at 155 million sold, with the Playstation, PS4 and PS3 all outselling Microsoft's best-selling console, the Xbox 360.
Right now, as it pertains to game exclusives, I don't see how Microsoft beats Sony. Yes, Halo and Fable are exciting, and there are other games to get pumped for, but Sony has an equally impressive lineup of exclusives that some would say is even more enticing.
I am curious about the pricing. While both main models (PS5 and Series X) are priced the same, the digital versions differ -- the Series S is $100 cheaper than the digital PS5, and I wonder if that will bolster sales in this generation. If you only buy one, you might go with what you're loyal to or pick based off exclusives. If you're a PC gamer and want one console you will probably go PS5 because those games will likely not be available on PC. If you're buying both, you might go full PS5 and digital Xbox to save the $100.
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All in all, the PS5 showcase left me more excited about the PS5 than ever before. I was grateful that we didn't get any talk about teraflops. Show me the games and how kickass they are, and let me get hype about them. I totally did.
Side note: Deathloop looks AWESOME. Can't wait to play that.
And bless your heart if you tried to pre-order the darn thing on Wednesday night. F in the chat.