PlayStation 5: Sony to give gamers first look at new platform

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PlayStation logoImage source, Getty

Sony will give gamers their first look at the PlayStation 5 during a special event later on Thursday.

Fans will finally get to see a range of yet-to-be-announced titles that are currently in development for the highly anticipated platform.

The showcase is one in a series of updates to the console that Sony is set to reveal over the coming months.

The Japanese firm will stream the event live at 21:00 BST on YouTube and Twitch.

The event was initially set to go ahead on 4 June, but Sony postponed due to the on-going Black Lives Matter protests across the US.

All of the new video games showcased at the event will be played on a 4K TV to give a fully-rounded picture of the console's graphic capabilities.

Gamers will also be hoping to see the console's custom Solid State Drive (SSD) in action.

Sony is hoping it will make loading screens a thing of the past, allowing for large-scale open-world games with little to no barriers.

"We can reasonably expect to see first-party software in action from real PS5 hardware," Mark Reed, managing director at Heaven Media told the BBC.

"Days of pre-rendered footage and trailers are coming to an end and Sony knows that gamers expect to see real games on real hardware," he added.

However, the system itself is expected to remain under wraps until a later date.

Price point

Sony has sold more than 108 million PS4 units around the world since its launch in November 2013, according to data from Ampere Analysis.

Microsoft's Xbox One, which launched during the same period, has sold 49 million units to date.

Timi Ofarn, co-head of gaming platform The Nerd Council, told the BBC that PS5's price point would probably play a key role in determining if Sony could maintain its position as market leader.

"If they repeat past mistakes such as the ones they made with the PS3 at launch, we’ll definitely observe a swing in consumer buying," suggested Mr Ofarn.

The PS3 hit the market in 2006 at a substantially higher price point than any of its rivals, and had a slower start than expected as a result.

"In the end, however, I believe it will come down to the games Sony are offering at launch as to whether we’ll see a shift in Sony outselling Microsoft," he added.

So far very little is known about PlayStation 5, other than Sony confirming it will be released around Christmas.

There are increasing concerns about the availability of stock due to the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down production around the world.

"Demand will be very high indeed for the new hardware," said Mr Reed. "Stock may be an issue, but both companies have committed to launching this year."

The chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, claimed earlier this month that the PS5 would represent "the best in the industry".

He said: "Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware."