I also wouldn't count on a SSD. It will most likely be a 1TB HDD, with the ability for the consumer to upgrade it if they wish. It's just too costly to throw in a large capacity SSD. I mean that's a $50 difference at retail. It may be more like a $30 difference for Sony, but that's an added cost of $150M for the first 5M units alone, which would be better spent putting a more powerful chipset in it. If we ever get to a $5 difference between drives, Sony will probably throw one into the PS5 Pro at launch and probably a Slim, but not the launch model. The only one I could see putting a SSD in is MS in their top of the line $499 model, and that would probably only be a 500GB one.
There are quite a few thins abut the whole storage issue.
First starting with RAM.... I am expecting them to have 20GB-24GB of RAM. Be that one pool of 20GB-24GB of GDDR6 RAM or 16GB of GDDR6 exclusively for games and 4GB-8GB of LPDDR4 RAM for the OS and secondary apps. So basically whichever is cheaper to implement.
Now with storage.... you kinda need something a lot faster than a HDD when dealing with games that natively are built around a pool of around 16GB of RAM. That is over 3 times more RAM than the PS4/XB1 used for their games. Now granted there are multiple ways this can be approached; they could ship every console with a 128GB/256GB nand storage embedded on the PCB and still have a 2TB HDD. Or they could just ship every console with a 1TB SSD which will probably as you pointed out cost them more than a conventional HDD. Though I don't think it will be $30 more. More like $20 more.
So it comes down to which is cheaper..... it may actually be cheaper to put 240GB SSD on the PCB + 1TB HDD than it is to go with a 1TB SSD. Use 200GB of that embedded storage as some sort f smart cache for gaming and then over the years as SSD pricing gets lower just phase out the HDD.
I should have clarified better about the RAM. I do think they will do 16GB, but it will be reserved for gaming. I think they will do a 2nd pool of ~2GB DRR4 for the OS. Basically a continuation of the RAM solution found in the Pro.
I still have some serious doubts about a SSD. At most, I see them going with a hybrid drive. It'll save them millions and customers can choose to upgrade to a SSD if they so wish. But, we shall see.
I don't see them doing a $499 box. They did it with PS3 and it didn't work out, not until the PS3 dropped to $399, and even more so at $299. MS did it this gen, and they are going to end up being out sold by more than 2:1. While $499 is a little more acceptable now, and will probably be acceptable in a few more years, I just don't think it sells right now. Sony will also be subsidizing the console, like they always do. So, it may cost $449-$499 to make, but Sony would still sell it for $399.
And trust me, they aren't going to force VR on people. MS tried it with Kinect and it doesn't work. Plus, Kinect was "only" a $100 mark up, while VR would be something more like a $200-$300 mark up. Not going to happen. Also, considering Sony has never lost WW to Xbox, I highly doubt the PS5 will, either. It just has too much going for it, including B/C with PS4. Which seems even more interesting, since apparently Sony, according to one of their patents, is going to be pushing remaster packs (with higher res textures, maybe even higher geometry for models) for PS4 games on PS5. That could be a big selling point for the 100M+ people who own a PS4, especially if its only $10-$20 for the pack instead of paying $60 for a remastered game.
Everything you are saying is a smart strategy. I would like to get an official announcement from them though.
I don't put it past any of the big 3 to do something dumb. I don't really think their companies are dumb so much is that they are vulnerable to hubris. Nintendo is probably the worst, but all 3 have had their blunders in the past based on hubris. I don't think it is a coincidence that Sony's biggest blunder, the PS3 came right after their biggest success, the PS2. Just like the Wii U followed the Wii, because Nintendo was too full of themselves to release a smart console at the time.
Nintendo was humbled by the Wii U and released the Switch. That was a smart move. I think XBox's entertainment division has been humbled by the XB1, so I wouldn't be surprised if their next console is more solid all around. Sony? They are currently very successful. That is a dangerous place to be. This is where they can actually prove if they have learned their lesson from the PS3. It was easy for Sony to be humble when they released the PS4. If they can release another $399 console without any baggage again, then they will have shown that they've learned their lesson. But I have to wait until the official announcement before I pass judgement one way or the other.
There's a big thing you are missing about the PS3 to PS4, though. Sony's HW strategy. Before the PS4, Sony's strategy was to design their own chipset. This not only led to a larger expense when it came to R&D, it also led to an increase in the manufacturing cost, since the foundry has to be fitted to make this brand new chip. The PS3 was also where Sony was aiming large with the Cell architecture, which made things even more expensive and complicated for developers early on, the latter of which led to weaker ports for the first year or two in the PS3's life. Now, Sony is done with that strategy and using slightly customized off the shelf parts. This has the opposite effect, and lowers R&D and manufacturing costs.
PS3 also had another big negative going against it. The format war. Sony used the PS3 as a vehicle to get Blu-ray into more homes. It worked, and helped lead to Blu-ray defeating HD-DVD. Unfortunately, it also meant that Sony had to subsidize the price of an expensive chipset AND an expensive disc drive. Moving on to PS5, there is no format war to be won. The chipset will not be overly expensive or complicated. The PS5 is, more than likely, going to be another traditional console. The only thing that can screw it up is if Sony adopts some extreme anti-consumer policies, like MS tried to do at the beginning of this gen. I truly do not see that happening considering how they have reacted to criticism of certain policies this gen, even ones that aren't nearly as bad as the ones being pushed for the XBO initially.
Last edited by thismeintiel - on 28 January 2019