The PS5 And Xbox Series X Price Stand-Off Will Probably End In The Most Boring Way Possible – Forbes
It’s a bizarre thing that’s happening with these next generation consoles at the moment. We know a ton about them, from specs to games, services and more, but there are some very important numbers that remain a mystery—certainly to us, and maybe even to Microsoft and Sony. The prices of the Xbox Series X and PS5 have been the subject of much speculation for the course of the year, but this standoff is going to have to end at some point.
Sometime in the next few weeks, probably before the end of the month, we’re going to have an answer to this question. We just sort of have to: theses companies are going to need to open pre-orders, and you can’t do that without letting people know how much this thing costs. And when we do, I don’t think anyone is going to be all that surprised.
Conventional wisdom is that both of these consoles are going to come in at $499. It’s higher than the $399 that PS4 launched at, but the company has been pretty clear in its limited communications it’s hedged expectations surrounding price, making it clear that it’s offering “value” beyond just a low sticker, apparently helping people brace for a higher entry point. Microsoft, for it’s part, has also stressed that the Xbox Series X is a premium product, and its rumored plans to release a lower-priced Xbox Series S reinforces the idea that the Xbox Series X won’t be priced to move.
There would be a question with PS5 as to which console will be $499: most are assuming a price differential of $50 between the disc drive and the discless version, so that could be either $449/$499 or $499/$549.
While the PS5 discless console remains a wild card, I’m still expecting a broad tie here, with both consoles coming in at $499. Maybe deep-pocketed Microsoft decides to make a serious bet and take a large loss on Series X in an effort to get more Game Pass subscribers, but I think that’s what the Series S is for. Maybe Sony decides to go for it in order to cement its dominance with a lower price, but with production costs reportedly somewhere in the range of $450, it would even be taking a moderate loss at $499 once you factor in shipping, marketing and all that.
There is room for a surprise here, and both of these companies have surprised us in the past. But I can’t help but feel like this price standoff is less about companies trying to one-up each other and more about neither company wanting to break it to the gaming public that these consoles are going to be pretty expensive.
So we’ll see, hopefully soon. But I’m still betting on $499 from both, Sony variance notwithstanding.