Analysis

PlayStation 5 event confirmed: What to expect from the June 4 showcase

Sony's PlayStation 5 logo, I guess.

Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony has finally given a date for when it next plans to talk about the PlayStation 5. The company is preparing “a look at the future of gaming” for 1 p.m. Pacific time on June 4. But what exactly should you expect to see at that event? Let’s take a closer look.

What we know about the PS5 so far is what’s inside the system and a few other details. Like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 features AMD hardware. This includes a Zen 2 CPU and a Navi GPU. The console also has a super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD and a data-transfer architecture to match. But the acronyms and initialisms don’t really matter. What you need to know is that the PS5 has significantly more GPU power and a massive leap in CPU and data throughput compared to the current generation.

On top of all that, developers and publishers continue to praise the design of the PS5. Some have told GamesBeat that it has a better architecture than any console in history. So studios may find it a joy to work with.

We also got a good look at the DualSense, which is the gamepad for the PlayStation 5. It has motorized triggers that can provide variable resistance depending on in-game context. Sony also included modern haptics to enable players to “feel” games.

That’s about it when it comes to what we know. So Sony still has a lot it could share next week.

Will we see the PlayStation 5 hardware?

In its blog post about the June 4 event, Sony makes it clear that you will see games.

“We’ve shared technical specifications and shown you the new DualSense wireless controller,” the post reads. “But what is a launch without games? That’s why I’m excited to share that we will soon give you a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday.”

But Sony also makes it clear that this is just the first entry in a “series of PS5 updates.” So it’s going to hold some info back.

Does that mean we could come out of next week’s showcase and still not know what the PS5 looks like? It’s possible, but it also seems unlikely. So far, I’ve not confirmed that Sony plans to show the hardware at this event. Sony is also obviously being cagey about that in its wording in the blog.

All that said, I still think it’s likely we get a good look at the box itself. Sony is likely trying to keep things quiet until it’s ready.

A focus on PlayStation 5 games

While hardware is still a mystery, Sony is promising to show next-gen games. That confirms what I’ve heard for the last month. The company is putting together a presentation of games that showcase the PlayStation 5 in action.

The event should include both first- and third-party releases coming for the next-gen platform. But some third-party games may have to sit out. Sony wants games that are actually up and running on real PS5 hardware — or at least a real devkit. If a third-party publisher has a multiplatform game running on PC, that’s probably not going to cut it.

This should give us a very clear idea of what the PS5 is capable of. And it’s also a sign that PS5 game development is far enough along to present to the public as a vertical slice.

Finally, you can expect Sony to quickly touch on what it’s like to use the PlayStation 5. How do your PS4 games run on it? How quickly can you jump from Netflix to a game? Is Fortnite going to look better? Those are all the kinds of things that the company could sprinkle throughout the showcase to get fans excited.

What not to expect from the PS5 event

Don’t expect price. Maybe Sony is ready to share that. But it will likely hold off until one of its later updates. Price is still a concern for both Sony and Microsoft. These consoles are expensive to manufacture, but global fluctuations in the availability of labor and the price of oil is going to make every dime count.

I also wouldn’t expect Sony to reveal every PS5 game it has in the works. The company wants to get players excited, but it also wants to maintain a steady promotional cadence. Does it really need to reveal Horizon Zero Dawn 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and God of War 2 in June 2020 to get you excited enough to buy the PS5? Probably not. If a game is still two-to-three years out, Sony may want to save it for an event in 2021 instead.

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