Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
Unfortunately, very few people in the world know the prices of the next generation games consoles due to release later this year – in fact, it’s possible that no-one really knows the exact price as there is plenty of time for prices to change. As alluded to by head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, there is a plan for pricing but the go to market plan also has flexibility to adjust the price.
What makes the situation worse is the occasional ‘price leak’ from retailers around the world – one day it’s £800+, the next is that it’s lower than £400. Personally, I think both of these prices are wrong, and unfortunately, of the two, it feels like we might be leaning towards the higher end of the spectrum.
A while back, I mentioned in a blog that I think the price will remain below £1000 and I still believe that – although the next gen consoles are going to be powerful, they could risk losing a lot of their key audience if they go too high in regards to the price. At £1000, you’re starting to get into high-end PC gaming territory (that’s how much my custom build cost 5 years ago).
When you look at the history of the console prices – all of the major console launches have remained below £500, including both Sony and Microsoft’s most recent 4K offerings the Xbox One X and Playstation 4 Pro – as these two consoles are the closest to what we can expect from the new consoles, it’s fair to consider how they were priced at launch.
However, it’s also important to note that the next consoles are also going to be twice as powerful as the current most powerful consoles, which is going to come with a hefty price tag!
In an ideal world:
If the stars aligned, I would guess somewhere between £400-500 at launch, possibly even £495 to just stay under the £500 mark and be considered ‘cheap’, especially when compared to PC builds capable of the same performance.
As much as I really want to believe in the price above, I think a more realistic price for both consoles at launch will be between £600-700 based on the specs revealed so far. Having said this, I think the price after 6 months could be as low as £550 once both manufacturers have gauged interest and had time to reassess the market.
Our verdict: £640 at launch (based on Xbox Series X specs revealed so far)
Cheap enough to be considered good value for the specs but unfortunately, expensive enough to price many out of the market, which is where my next thought comes in.
Microsoft might reveal two consoles at launch – one 8 teraflop machine priced at £470 – essentially an upgraded Xbox One X, no ray tracing and less RAM, but enough to play next generation games comfortably and then the Xbox Series X we already know about at the price listed above (£640).
As for Sony, I think they’ll release the one console, the Playstation 5, the one we already know about, however, it’ll be priced at £500-£520 to undercut the Series X but will have power and performance advantage to sell better than the cheaper Xbox alternative.
Obviously this is all ridiculous speculation but given how the console market is going and how they thrive off relatively affordable pricing for the mass, the specs revealed so far are in line with mid-high end PCs that cost more than £1000!
So there you have it – my guess at the next generation console pricing: Xbox Series X at £640, Xbox Series ? (lower end) at £470 and the Playstation 5 at £520.