TOKYO | The battle between Sony and Microsoft entered its decisive phase Thursday (local time) with the launch by the Japanese of its new PlayStation 5 console, two days after the release of the Xbox Series of its American rival.
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Unlike Microsoft, which had bet on a single global launch, Sony will put its console on sale in two stages: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Canada and Mexico being served from this Thursday, when the rest of the world, and in particular Europe, will have to wait until November 19.
Pandemic requires, purchases will be made online, Sony having warned that no console would be sold in stores on launch days.
Demand, boosted by more home-based lifestyles with the health crisis, promises to be strong, and the copies available for pre-order have been sold out in record time. Analysts believe that it will be very difficult to get a new console before 2021.
Like its competitor, the PlayStation 5 will be available in two versions: a “premium” which Sony has priced at the Xbox Series X, at $ 499, and an equally powerful “digital edition”, but devoid of a disk drive, at $ 399, 100 more than the Xbox Series S. Sony, whose video games represent around a third of sales, will try to repeat with this generation of consoles, the ninth in video game history, its performance of the PlayStation 4 , released in 2013, which sold twice as much as the Xbox One worldwide.
According to most analysts, Sony should still overtake its American competitor in the number of consoles sold. In the long run, however, Microsoft could catch up with its big rival with its strategy more focused on subscription and streaming gaming.