After months of teasers, today Atlus finally released a full-fat (Japanese) trailer for Persona 5 Royal, an updated version of the hit JRPG featuring heaps of new content, not unlike Persona 4 Golden. In a separate, shorter teaser (opens in new tab) the studio also confirmed that while Persona 5 Royal will release in Japan this October, it won't come to the West until 2020. It's unclear when exactly in in 2020 it will arrive, but hey, at least we're getting it!
Per PersonaCentral (opens in new tab)'s translation of the Japanese website (opens in new tab), Persona 5 Royal will introduce a new main character: Kasumi Yoshizawa, a transfer student at the main gang's high school. We know from a previous teaser that Kasumi rejects the Phantom Thieves' methods, but she does have a Persona form and screenshots show her hanging out with the rest of the gang, so you can bet she'll become a party member one way or another. However, she doesn't appear to be an alternative protagonist a la Persona 3 FES, so put those hopes to rest. On the other hand, Kasumi is seen in a screenshot showcasing new date spots, so she may be a new romantic partner.
Other new characters include Takuto Maruki, who's both a school counselor and a Social Link Confidant. An image on the Japanese site also shows a young man who appears to be Morgana, the literal cat burglar of the Phantom Thieves, in human form. This guy uses the same verbiage as Morgana, and in the screenshot above, he's lounging on Joker's couch day-dreaming about Ann. That's textbook Morgana, and if that wasn't enough, his (presumably placeholder) name, Ikemen, literally translates to 'good-looking man'. Persona has a history of turning its animal mascots into pretty anime boys, and it looks like Morgana is next.
Putting pretty anime boys on the backburner for the moment, Persona 5 Royal will also add a new area: Kichijoji, a shopping district with plenty of new activities and date spots for the gang to explore. Kichijoji will likely play a role in the new story portion dubbed the third semester, which will expand on the Phantom Thieves' school life. Additionally, the trailer shows what appears to be a new Palace dungeon, while the website shows new a Velvet Room function, new "Assist Commands" you can use out on the town, stronger enemies which can appear in battles, and graphical improvements available on PS4 Pro.
In other words, Persona 5 Royal is chock-full of new stuff. It'll definitely be the best way for newcomers to play, and even after playing the original game to death, I'm looking forward to this updated version. I wonder if we'll see any sort of cross-save New Game Plus integration? One can dream.
Don't confuse Persona 5 Royal with Persona 5 S, which is believed to be a Switch port (opens in new tab).