Sony Corp unveiled plans to showcase games tailored for its planned PlayStation 5 (PS5) consoles on Thursday in a sign of a ramped-up effort for the year-end holiday season. The online event titled “The Future of Gaming” was postponed last week because of the unrest in cities over police misconduct and race discrimination.
“We needed to step aside so key voices could be heard during this historic and important time,” said Sid Shuman, senior director of content communications at Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post on Monday. Sony has shared technical details about PS5 consoles but has remained mum about its price or specific launch date. Historically, Sony and Xbox-maker Microsoft Corp have released new generations of their rival consoles in November.
“While this road to launch has been a bit … different, we are as thrilled as ever to bring you with us on this journey to redefine the future of video games,” Shuman said. The event is set to start streaming on YouTube and Amazon.com-owned Twitch at 5pm Greenwich Mean Time (1am on Friday in Hong Kong). Viewers are encouraged to use headphones to best enjoy immersive audio effects.
PS5 game graphics optimised for 4K ultra-high-definition screens were scaled down to adapt to bandwidth limitations of team members working from home on the presentation, according to Shuman.
First glimpses of blockbuster video games have historically been presented in packed theatre venues in Los Angeles during the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, which was to take place this week but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. “A lack of physical events has given us an amazing opportunity to think differently and bring you on this journey with us, and hopefully, closer than ever before,” Shuman said.
A paper released on Monday by Washington-based Technology Policy Institute indicated that some 2.5 billion people worldwide play games annually, with some 12.3 billion hours of streamed game content was watched in 2019 alone.
Spending on video games in the US jumped to a new April record as locked-down consumers sought refuge in play. A total of US$1.5 billion was spent on video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards, eclipsing a previous April high of US$1.2 billion spent in the US in 2008, according to consumer research firm NPD Group.