I (along with every other PlayStation fan on the planet) have been anticipating and waiting for the PS5 reveal date for quite some time now. We learned about the console in April last year. We got a confirmed holiday 2020 release window at the tail end of 2019. But we simply still don’t know much about the console itself other than the fact that it exists and is going to house some pretty sweet technological advancements over this generation. So far, only one game has even been shown and formally confirmed for the console: Godfall, which was showcased at The Game Awards 2019. And that’s not even a Sony first-party game!
If you’d asked me a month ago, I would have said that looking to history was the way to predict the PS5 reveal date. The PS4 was revealed at the PlayStation Meeting on February 20, 2013 which itself was revealed on January 31, 2013. Here we are just three weeks out from the end of February and Sony has yet to even hint at any kind of coming announcement (outside of the PS5 website simply saying they aren’t ready to unveil it yet). At this point, it’s pretty obvious a February reveal of the console is off the table. Unless…. No, forget I said anything. We’ll get to the “what ifs” in a moment.
Actually, any speculation about the PS5 reveal just comes down to a series of “what ifs.” What if Sony reveals it via a live stream? What if Sony shows it off after GDC? What if Sony doesn’t even have a firm plan of exactly when the reveal will happen yet? I mean, the company still doesn’t even know what the final price of the PlayStation 5 will be. There could certainly be some x-factors that are changing Sony’s plans behind the scenes. After all, the company doesn’t want to appear at E3 2020, suggesting it wants to keep it’s ability to announce what it wants when it wants a bit more fluid.
No, but really, when is the PS5 reveal?
Right now, the easiest prediction to make is that the PlayStation 5 reveal is happening in the first half of March. GDC (Game Developers Conference) takes place from March 16-March 20, and all rational thought points to Sony wanting the details of the console on the table before that gathering of industry professionals happens. GDC is where deals are struck, meetings take place, and partnerships are made. If talks about the PS5 are going on behind closed doors at GDC 2020, you can be certain that some things will start leaking out if the PS5 hasn’t already been revealed by that point.
That means we’re looking at a window sometime between March 2 and March 13. Sony isn’t going to want to pair the reveal with GDC. It’s going to want the entire world looking at its stage and its stage alone (unless they don’t). So that leaves that two-week window at the beginning of March. If it’s a big event, Sony’s going to want to invite press and give people an opportunity to come to the show. Three weeks is ample time to get things arranged (its the same timeframe they gave for the PS4 reveal), which hypothetically indicates that we should learn about the event sometime within the next two weeks.
That’s all considering there’s even an event and that it’s going to take place in the first half of March. And that’s all coming from speculation that Sony wants to do the reveal ahead of GDC. And that it will mirror the same kind of reveal the PS4 had. Yet the information cycle for the PS5 has already been so radically different from the PS4, it’s near impossible to predict with any accuracy.
History tells us to expect the unexpected for the PS5 unveiling
I’ve referenced my very comfortable anchor of history multiple times when talking about the PS5 reveal. But as time moves forward, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I must let go. History only tells us that Sony isn’t taking the conventional route with the PS5. The company has changed its strategies drastically since 2013. We learned about the PS5 earlier than ever. Sony skipped E3 2019 and is also skipping E3 2020. It began doing Nintendo Direct-like PlayStation State of Play live streams to talk about upcoming games and news. We’re in uncharted territory here without a Nathan Drake to guide us to the treasure. Sony could up and reveal the PS5 tomorrow via live stream, and while I’d be surprised and excited, I’d simply nod along and say “I figured they’d do something like this that I wouldn’t figure they would do.” That’s how lost I am at this point on predicting when a PS5 reveal will actually happen.
The one solace I have in expecting an actual event announced ahead of time is Sony’s focus on community. During CES 2020, when Sony just revealed the PS5 logo and nothing else, Jim Ryan ended the segment specifically talking about community. Sony’s announcement to skip E3 2020 was paired with plans for “hundreds of consumer events” throughout the year. You can’t tell me that Sony would plan hundreds of consumer events and then just trot the PS5 out on a live stream. No, it’s going to want the community in attendance when it pulls the curtain back.
Of course, that still doesn’t tell us when. Again, my best estimate puts it in the first half of March. It makes the most sense from a business standpoint when positioned around the rest of the industry’s big events. But if we don’t hear an announcement for an event by February 21, I’m going to have to once again start readjusting my predictions. I’ll have nothing to fall back on this time though. 1000 words later—after thinking about it a lot—my best advice is just to not think about it. It’s already February 7. That’s crazy! One day, whether it’s in the next two weeks or sometime in the next two months, we’re going to wake up to news of an announcement. That’s going to be a crazy exciting day. Until then, speculation, rumors, and predictions are just going to eat at your soul. And at this point, I’m just typing out self-help advice to try to get me through until we do finally hear something.
When do you think we’ll get our next big info drop about the PS5? How do you think Sony will handle the PS5 reveal?
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