Bonus Round: PlayStation Premiums

Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to Bonus Round, a weekly look at some of the biggest stories in gaming. We’ve been covering Gamescom this week in our live blogs on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the shows were light on significant news. There are still some news stories to discuss, though. In fact, it’s something of an ‘Oops! All PlayStation!’ edition of Bonus Round. Let’s get into it.

PlayStation announces high-end DualSense Edge controller

For a long time, PlayStation fans have cried out for an equivalent to the high-end Xbox Elite Controller. Their prayers were finally answered this week with the announcement of the DualSense Edge, a premium controller offering multiple customisation options.

You can find a full rundown of this new controller’s features on the PlayStation blog, but a few stand out. The sensitivity and dead zones of the sticks can be customised, meaning that you can change how far you have to push the stick before your game picks up on it. You can even save multiple profiles to the controller, letting you easily switch your settings based on the type of game you’re playing.

The DualSense Edge comes with swappable analog stick covers and triggers to get just the feel you want. The controller also sports paddles on the back that you can map to any other button you want. Say you play a lot of Call of Duty; you could map the jump button to a back paddle and be able to leap and aim without ever taking your thumb off the right stick.

Personally, this isn’t something that interests me. I’m simply too basic a bitch when it comes to gaming, and the still-impressive regular DualSense is enough for me. But for a more competitive class of gamer, this is definitely going to come in handy.

There’s no word yet on a release date or pricing for the DualSense Edge. Using the Xbox Elite Controller as a guide, though, we can probably expect a price tag in the £160-200 range. Hey, all those new features and swappable bits of plastic don’t come cheap!

And speaking of PlayStation products not coming cheap…

Sony raises PlayStation 5 price in UK and other territories

Switching whiplash-inducingly from good news to bad, Sony also announced this week that the price of the PlayStation 5 will be increasing in certain markets, effective immediately. Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and our native UK are all subject to the change. Here, the price is increasing by £30; a PS5 with a disc drive will now cosy you £479.99, while a Digital Edition will come in at £389.99.

Sony has stated that ‘high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends’ are among for the price increase. This news comes weeks after Meta announced a $100 price increase for its Quest 2 VR headset, citing rising manufacturing and shipping costs. It’s not just you and your family who are being forced to reevaluate your monthly expenses; apparently, the biggest corporations on the face of the planet are feeling the pinch too.

Someone who’s dead set on buying a PS5 probably won’t be deterred by a £30 increase to an already expensive console; in for a penny, in for a pound, and all that. However, this might be enough to put off anyone sitting on the fence. The cost of simply existing in the UK is rising sharply and unfairly, and many homes will plunge into poverty in a total failure of governmental leadership. The PS5 is already a luxury item, and for many people, an increased price tag will make it even more unattainable.

PS VR2 to launch in early 2023

Sony has been teasing its next generation PlayStation VR2 headset for over a year now. Over the last 18 months, we’ve discovered details about the headset, its controllers, and exclusive games like Horizon Call of the Mountain. What we don’t know yet are when it’s coming, and how much it’ll cost.

We got an answer to one of those two questions this week, albeit a vague and low-key one. In a post on the PlayStation Instagram account, the console manufacturer announced that we can expect the product to release in ‘early 2023’. Many fans had been hoping for a holiday 2022 release, but that ship sailed a while ago; if this thing were coming this year, we’d have known it already.

Questions still remain around the price and a full software line-up. PlayStation is clearly investing a lot into the PS VR2, equipping the device with high resolution OLED screens and high-tech controllers. They’ll surely be supporting that investment with multiple high-quality games, but you should expect to see that development cost reflected in the price of the headset, too. I don’t see this thing coming in at anything less than £300, and after this week’s PS5 price hike, that might be a conservative estimate.