Sony Unveils PS5 Design, Two SKUs

Posted on June 11, 2020 by Brad Sams in Games, PlayStation with 21 Comments

Today, Sony hosted its gaming event where the company showed off a wide variety of titles. Everything from Gran Turismo to the latest NBA 2K titles was given the spotlight during the event but for most, the real highlight was the unveiling of the hardware.

Sony finally pulled back the curtains and showed off their new consoles. And yes, it’s plural; the company will offer one version with an optical drive and another without.

The strategy isn’t all that surprising, Microsoft tested these waters last year with its “all-digital” version of the Xbox One and Sony is now following that path forward. And it looks quite obvious that the version designed without the drive was created first and the optical drive version was simply bolted on to the side.

While we do know the specs, there are still a couple of crucial details missing. We still don’t know the price of the hardware or any of the accessories and we don’t know the exact launch date yet.

Sony and Microsoft are both waiting for each other to announce these final two details but at some point, one company will have to go first. Sony has already hinted that the console will be expensive but what the means exactly, we still don’t know.

As for the gaming event today, it really depends on what you were interested in as the games spanned many different genres and we still did not get a close look at the graphical performance of the titles. But Sony certainly attracted a crowed with well over a million viewers watching the YouTube stream.


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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Sony Unveils PS5 Design, Two SKUs”

  1. yoshi

    This show started off so painfully slow. But once they showed the new Horizon game, wow. It just took nearly an hour to finally show something that looked truly next-gen.

    No mention of PS Now at all during it. Found that a bit odd. I guess they really don't care about competing with Game Pass and they will cling on to traditional game sales for as long as possible.

    I'm kind of torn on which direction I'll head for my day 1 purchase. I have missed a handful of exclusives on the PS4 that I'd like to play sooner - so PS5 is tempting for that. But my Xbox library is enormous. Of course the One X will still be viable for some time, so I could continue there.

    Am I the only crazy person that struggles with these things?

    • SWCetacean

      In reply to yoshi:

      I'm an Xbox + PC guy myself, but I'm lucky to have a wife who is also really into videogames, and happens to prefer games on the PlayStation and Switch. So we will definitely get a PS5 for Horizon Forbidden West, then I'll most likely follow with getting the Series X. PS5 will probably have exclusives sooner than the XSX, so the PS5 takes priority.

    • sydney2k

      In reply to yoshi:

      PS Now wasn't mentioned because it wasn't what people wanted from this event- people wanted to see games and they wanted to see the console. Same reason why there wasn't any PSVR games previewed either.

      Any PS Now announcements will probably come when we hear about the release date and pricing.

  2. ronh

    That will be a pain to dust

  3. codymesh

    I can't get over how god ugly the console is, but it really doesn't matter. People are still going to buy it because Sony generally does a good job of having a games linesup. Let's just hope the (thermal?) performance is good.

  4. martinusv2

    At least they have a headphone hey Brad? :)

  5. dftf

    Going "download-only" makes-sense at this point for consoles... what's the point in buying a game on physical-media when the first time you go to play it, you essentially have to download the entire game again in the form of a 70GB+ day-one patch?

    I've never understood why this is the norm for consoles though: if you get a patch on PC, or OS patches for Windows 10 or macOS, these are way smaller as they only update the files that need to be. I'm not sure why people ever allowed console patches to get so big: I'm guessing it's because on console it downloads a disc-image, and each time there is an update the entire image has to be re-tested and so re-download each time. You'd think by-now they could simply make it so only specific files get updated, and it then does a hash-check to verify after the updates everything matches.

    But even that aside: is there really any reason games thesedays are as big as they are? I mean, 100-200GB install sizes? Are they installing audio for every language in the world or something?

    • SWCetacean

      In reply to dftf:

      Part of why games are so large is because they duplicate assets. Current consoles are based on slow spinning hard disks, so it takes a long time to move the read head around the disk. If you need to stream in an asset, you can't wait for the disk to spin to the right location. So many devs will duplicate common assets in many locations, so that no matter where the head is along the disk, that asset will never be too far away.

      And massive patches are only for those day-one patches because nearly every file is being modified. Regular patches for games are roughly the same size on console as on PC.

  6. hal9000

    The design is not for me. The XBox looks more elegant and timeless. But of course, this is just a matter of taste.

    I don't get why the optical variant would not be digital, it's not like it's using freaking Laserdiscs.

  7. tripleplayed

    "Digital Edition" is a much better subtitle than "All Digital Edition". Microsoft is never good at names.

  8. will

    Sooo this generation is all about standing upright, no more media cabinets. I don’t even think the PS5 could lay flat based on the current photos.

    It would have been kinda slick if it were to have programmable LED colors around the case that would glow. Maybe game based or user choice.

  9. erichk

    Don't plan to buy one, but I think I like it.

  10. SRLRacing

    People keep saying that the diskless version is a cost reduced version but I am pretty sure it is the real PS5 and the disc version is the additional SKU because how much does a disc drive actually cost vs. the extra tooling and costs associated with that second SKU? Plus just look at it. Its obvious that if the disk was anything other than an afterthought the disk drive would be flipped so the tray was hidden in the black area plus you have that bulge over what is otherwise a clean design. They must have had visions of the backlash Microsoft got for the digital DRM scheme during the XBox one launch and the disk version exists solely to head off that controversy and I would bet gets quietly dropped due to low demand, imagined or otherwise.

    • Hawaiianteg

      In reply to SRLRacing:

      Its prob because the logic board is smack dab in the middle (where the usb ports are is the hint to this) so they would rather have that there then try to make room for a optical drive and then have to figure out how to have the logic board also there. For me I want the drive because i prefer to watch good movies on 4k blu ray. I can see the difference between digital only movies and 4k blue rays and i prefer to watch my favorite movies this way. Now i can finally get rid of my xbox one s that I only used for that purpose.

  11. SWCetacean

    That's a nice looking design! Very sleek and svelte. Though it most likely looks a lot better vertically than horizontally. My wife is very hyped for the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel.

    Update: I saw a picture of it on its side. The side with the disc drive faces down when horizontal. And I have to say it doesn't look as nice horizontally. Looks a bit like a duck's bill when horizontal.

    From a hardware standpoint, I think the difference in designs between PS5 and XSX speak to their performance designs. PS5 uses a constant power, variable frequency model where the power output of the system is capped, and that allows performance to be distributed as needed. Thus it's easier to design a cooling system because the designers know exactly how many watts of heat need to be dissipated. XSX uses the constant frequency, variable power model where they need to over-engineer the cooling system to ensure that the system will never overwhelm it with its power output. It's interesting from an engineering perspective to see how the 2 teams handled the tradeoffs differently.

    • remc86007

      In reply to SWCetacean:

      There is no "over-engineering" necessary on the Xbox. There is still a max TDP which it will always operate below. The PS5's variable frequency is simply a way to exaggerate the specs of the system (make the estimated TFLOPs not seem too poor vs Xbox). The real frequencies the cpu and gpu will operate at will be consistently below peak boost numbers. It will undoubtedly be more difficult to get consistent performance out of. Ever try gaming on a laptop with integrated graphics on a 15 watt TDP cpu? It's the same concept.

    • Jeff Fodiak

      In reply to SWCetacean:

      The design is ugly irrespective of which side I look at it from. Reminds me of xbox 360. All a matter of taste I suppose!

  12. RonV42

    Wow it really looks like they just bolted in the drive and then 3D printed a new taco shell around it.

  13. nbates66

    Hope the cooling design is up to scratch if they're intending to rely on processing power and in particular SSD bandwidth as much as they say they are.

    Also regarding the SSDs, for both Microsoft's and Sony's effort, if they're going to make the games reliant on streaming from high bandwidth SSD's then that will probably mean we can't get away with using cheap SSD's to expand the storage when the 1TB included gets filled by todays huge games.