New consoles debut just in time for 2020’s holiday season – The Japan Times

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Fifth time’s a charm

This November finds Sony releasing its eagerly awaited PlayStation 5 console. The PS5 was first announced last year, and although there were concerns that the global pandemic would push back release, Sony has been able to get its new console ready in time for the holiday shopping season.

The PS5 is way more powerful than the PS4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, with a bigger computer processing unit, graphics processing unit and a solid-state drive. At first, the graphical differences between the PS5 and the PS4 might seem subtle when compared to the jump in graphics between the PS2 and PS3. However, with time, as developers harness the new hardware’s higher clock speed and improved teraflops, the gap between the PS4 and PS5 will widen.

Sony is initially releasing two versions of the PlayStation 5: the base version with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive, and a slightly less-expensive, digital-only version.

Slated to drop on Nov. 12 in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, the PS5 is priced at ¥54,978 and the Digital Edition at ¥43,978. But unless you already have a pre-order, or entered a lottery, getting a PS5 at launch won’t be easy.

bit.ly/ps5-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/ps5-en (English)

The Microsoft Xbox Series X is the most powerful Xbox console to date |
The Microsoft Xbox Series X is the most powerful Xbox console to date.

Xbox gets serious

Sony isn’t the only company releasing new hardware this month; Microsoft is, too. The U.S.-based tech giant is rolling out the Xbox Series X and Series S.

What’s the difference between the two new consoles? Well, the Series X is the most powerful Xbox to date. It’s almost twice as large as the Series S, with an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive; bigger CPU specs; nearly double the onboard storage; and significantly better GPU power, with the Series X outputting 12 teraflops compared to the 4 of the digital-only Series S. That added horsepower will come in handy as this console generation goes on, allowing the Series X to handle big games with greater ease.

The difference between the Series X and S is noticeable, but so are the price points. With the Series S, Microsoft is offering a welcome affordably priced bridge to players who want to jump into next-gen consoles.

Scheduled for drop on Nov. 10, Xbox Series S is ¥32,978, while the Xbox Series X is ¥54,978.

bit.ly/xboxseries-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/xboxseries-en (English)

A screenshot from the new Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory game | © DISNEY. © DISNEY / PIXAR. DEVELOPED BY SQUARE ENIX
A screenshot from the new Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory game | © DISNEY. © DISNEY / PIXAR. DEVELOPED BY SQUARE ENIX

Musical memories

The Kingdom Hearts series is known for its memorable characters, fun gameplay and terrific graphics. Not to mention the excellent soundtrack. No wonder Square Enix is releasing a rhythm action game, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the 14th installment in the series.

Featuring over 140 tracks, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a scrolling rhythm game that has players battle their way through each “show,” attacking enemies while trying to nail the correct rhythmic timing. Fans of the Kingdom Hearts games should feel at home with the controls, but here they have a musical spin. There are also different difficulty levels and play styles, including a straightforward play style that only requires a single button, as well as a trickier setting that adds complicated patterns and more enemies. There is also a co-op mode for those who want to play with a friend.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will be released on Nov. 11. Priced at ¥7,480, it’s coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

bit.ly/melodymemory-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/melodymemory-en (English)

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