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PS5 release date possibly revealed — and it's good news for Xbox Series X

(Image credit: Sony)

While we’ve seen some of the best games the PS5 has to offer, we still know very little about the console’s price or release date. Expert analyses and (sometimes dubious) sources peg the machine’s price around $500, and its release date sometime in November. One recent report narrows down the date even further, apparently based on Sony’s marketing budget. According to this new information, the PS5 could launch anytime between November 13 and November 20.

Video Games Chronicle put together a comprehensive analysis entitled “When Will PS5 Release?”, which draws from multiple “development and retail sources” to pinpoint a date for Sony’s upcoming console. “Mid-November” was the publication’s best guess, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was a source apparently familiar with Sony’s spending plans in the UK:

“PlayStation has already booked significant marketing spend for the seven days commencing on Friday, November 13,” wrote Andy Robinson, VGC’s editor-in-chief. This would seem to suggest that the PS5 will launch on November 13, and that Sony will spend a week afterward hyping it up. Of course, another possible interpretation is that Sony could kick off a big marketing push on November 13, leading up to the PS5’s release on November 20. Neither date sounds particularly unreasonable.

Perhaps even Microsoft thinks that November 13 is a likely date for the PS5, as VGC once again cited its “development and retail sources” who were apparently familiar with the Xbox Series X launch plans. Microsoft wants to launch its console in the first week of November, but is open to launching the Xbox Series X in the second week of the month, too. 

This would put the Xbox Series X at November 6, with the possibility for a November 13 launch if Sony ultimately decides to eye November 20 instead. It's worth noting that previous leaks and rumors have also pegged the Xbox Series X as launching on November 6, including a leaked retail box for the system's controller.

While a late-month launch seems reasonable on paper, there are difficulties associated with launching new tech so close to Black Friday.

“People do launch products during that time, especially as there’s a large number of people shopping over that weekend,” Christopher Dring, the head of the B2B side of media company Gamer Network, told VGC. “But you’re going to find yourself competing with products that have been heavily discounted.”

In other words, people who want the next-gen consoles will buy them regardless of when they launch; people who want holiday gifts might find better bargains in older tech that isn’t quite so expensive.

In any case, the VGC report goes into more detail about why mid-November seems like the most likely time for the PS5 to launch, but Sony’s marketing budget — assuming the information is accurate — is the closest thing the analysis has to a smoking gun. We may very well get the PS5 in mid-November, and the Xbox Series X a week or two before that — and both consoles may still have to compete with cheaper gear come Black Friday.