Pax Online x EGX kicks off next week with a huge slate of scheduled live streams and panels to fill out the calendar. One curious entry appears on the main PAX channel for September 18th at 3:45 pm PST/6:45 pm EST, labeled simply “Sony Holder.” There’s nothing in the description yet, and Sony hasn’t commented about participating in PAX Online. The slot reserves an hour for the Sony live stream, the last stream on the schedule for September 18th. Speculation holds that this could be where Sony finally reveals the PS5 price and release date, as well as when preorders will open up for the console expected to release in just two months.
Having “holder” slots without further descriptions isn’t unusual. The rest of the schedule has a few sprinkled throughout, including ones for CD Projekt RED and Square Enix. And now that Microsoft has lifted the lid on its next-gen plans in full, including price, release date, preorders, and even a second less powerful next-gen Xbox, the game of console chicken is over. All eyes are on Sony to make the next move. Sony set expectations that no PS5 news would be incoming this week—despite the 25th anniversary of the original PlayStation’s launch in North America—focusing instead on PSVR for the week. Which brings attention to next week.
If there are a few things that cast doubt on this slot being the PS5 price and release date reveal, one of the biggest has been Sony’s independence this year, opting to do their own live streams and events instead of making big announcements part of other events. Even before the pandemic canceled E3 (and every other in-person event), Sony had announced their intention not to attend the LA gaming expo for the second year in a row. Every PS5 reveal this year has been either via a surprise PlayStation Blog post, or a scheduled Sony stream, separate from any other events. Something as big as the PS5’s price reveal probably wouldn’t be the exception to this rule.
The past two PS5 streams have also been held on Thursdays at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern. It’s a commonly held belief that a late Friday afternoon news drop is a death slot, normally reserved for the ugly news that companies want to have just go away over the weekend before the next week’s news cycle gets underway. Revealing something as big as the PS5 price and release date doesn’t seem like something Sony wants to sweep under the weekend rug, and their tried and true Thursday live stream spot has worked out consistently well for them this year. Why change it now?
One thing is certain: Sony does have this late Friday PAX Online x EGX slot reserved for something. If not the PS5 price and release date reveal, there are two major possibilities. One is contingent on Sony releasing the PS5 release date and pricing info on their own at some point next week, perhaps in another Thursday stream on September 17th. The PAX slot could then simply be a kind of “PS5 hype” stream, gathering all of the known info so far, maybe expanding on a few points, letting Sony finally really get into the marketing swing of the PS5 now that all info is out there. The other option is that it’s unrelated to the PS5. Maybe it’s a first-party studio panel, a discussion from a developer like Insomniac about Ghost of Tsushima or something similar. While Sony=PS5 in a lot of people’s minds right now, there are a lot of things that fall under the Sony umbrella that could go here.
Of course, Sony has yet to comment, and as has been the theme this year, they’ll announce when they’re good and ready. Most guesstimates put the holiday 2020 PS5 release date in November, which means it’s pretty much guaranteed we’ll at least find out the price and release date within the next two months. But with the Xbox cat out of the proverbial bag, fans are starting to put the torch to Sony for more PS5 news, even as PlayStation keeps telling fans to relax.