Sony PS5 "deep dive" on March 18 could steal Xbox Series X limelight

Sony will reveal new PlayStation 5 details on Wednesday, March 18, the company has announced today, as it pushes back against Microsoft's Xbox Series X in the next-generation console hype wars. Although Sony has previously spilled some information about the hardware of the PS5 at the end of last year, the company now promises a "deep dive" on its architecture this week.

We can probably expect it to be fairly technical, too. The session will be live-streamed on Sony's PlayStation blog, and led by PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny. He'll be giving "a deep dive into PS5's system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games," Sony claims.

It's a timely announcement. Microsoft grabbed gamer attention only yesterday, with full technical details of the upcoming Xbox Series X. The next-generation console will feature a custom AMD processor and graphics chip, 1TB of speedy custom SSD storage, and the ability to expand that storage with plug-in 1TB SSD chips.

This is the PS5's chance to steal back the limelight

Sony, for its part, hasn't exactly been shy about hyping up its new console either. Last October, it talked about its own processor, the PS5 also looking to AMD for an eight-core CPU. That'll be based on the third-generation AMD Ryzen, and paired with a Radeon Navi-based GPU, also custom for the PS5.

As with the Xbox Series X, Sony will be using an SSD inside the PS5 for faster storage. That should cut down on load times and resume times for games, as well as making the console in general feel more speedy.

There'll be up to 8K resolution support, together with 4K at 120Hz support, if you've got a TV that can handle it.

Clearly, the specifications are going to be considerable – as well they should, given the length of time that consoles are expected to stay on shelves, and the demands of studios developing and releasing games for them. However earlier rumors have hinted that Sony's ambitions may be at odds with more pragmatic opinions in the sales team. Leaks in February suggested there were growing anxieties within the company that the potent PS5 could end up costing too much to build, and thus cost too much on store shelves, too.

Neither Microsoft nor Sony have talked about specific pricing for their next-gen consoles, and we're not expecting details on that for the PS5 from tomorrow's event either. Still, analysts are predicting that a $499 tag wouldn't be out of the question, reflecting the cutting-edge nature of the components each firm is relying upon.

Sony's PS5 livestream will begin at 9am PT (12pm ET) on March 18, 2020.