Your move, PS5: What Microsoft’s Xbox tricks suggest Sony can do

It was a long game of price-war chicken, but it has finally come to a close.

Microsoft used to flank earlier, and now we know how much it will cost for the next generation of console gaming. The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will officially begin on November 10 at $ 299, the company announced this week, followed by 15 months to reveal details about the next generation of Xbox in drubs and drabs. .

Many questions remain, such as whether the $ 299 Xbox Series S will be true Feel Since the next generation, it will be only one-third of the $ 499 Xbox Series X raw GPU performance and less than half of the PlayStation 5 (they’re all based on the same AMD RDNA 2 graphics architecture.)

But the biggest question is a little more immediate: what will PlayStation do? It is about time to find out.

There is a reason why both Sony and Microsoft have been supporting us for over a year (Sony confirmed PlayStation 5 in October 2019, if you will remember). Presumably, they are drawing a road to this battle because neither company wanted to first state its value, only to give the other a chance to benefit. Very high, and your competitor may let you down; Too little and you are leaving money on the table, or selling your product at a loss. When Sony revealed that the Xbox One was under $ 100 with the PS4 in 2013, it immediately seemed that Sony had been overthrown.

But Sony has no reason to go back now that Microsoft has revealed its hand. The question is how low should Sony go, how low can it be Tolerate To go, because the PS4 is as strong and as weak as the Xbox once seemed, $ 299 is an incredible starting price that seems impossible to meet or beat.

Let’s put $ 299 in perspective. Historically, a “next-gen console” hasn’t been priced as low as $ 299 since the Xbox 360, and only if you chose the “core” version that dropped a hard drive to hit that price gives. Otherwise, it hasn’t happened since the original Xbox and PS2 duke it out at the turn of the millennium, And the like Kotaku Actually even then the points don’t match: they each cost about $ 450 in today’s money, adjusted for inflation. While Nintendo’s Switch, Wii U, Wii, GameCube, and N64 have neatly spent $ 300 each in modern money with inflation, they haven’t competed on technical performance since GameCube in 2001.

($ 299 is also low, you can’t just build a gaming PC for the same price – the 512GB NVMe solid state drive in the Xbox Series S alone will eat one-sixth of that budget, and the 2017 mid-range graphics card will still cost from $ 140 Up cost.)

Meanwhile, questions have already been raised about Sony’s ability to sell the PS5 for less than $ 500 – much less $ 300. In February and then in April, Bloomberg Game industry journalist Takashi Mochizuki reported that component shortages and rising memory prices were forcing Sony to consider higher prices at launch than the PS4 or PS4 Pro, with one estimate leading Sony to build a new console It will cost just $ 450.

And while Sony has apparently managed to make 50 percent of PS5 production (as of 10 million more consoles by March 2021), Sony is still hinting that supply will be limited – now you have to Applicable Service wait in line Just for Chance Service pre order A PS5, a process that still takes two weeks later is absurd.

But before we consider the PS5 to be price-competitive with the Xbox, let’s also consider the advantages of Sony – such as how both are digital only. And Disc-drive equipped models are likely to be more powerful than the $ 300 Xbox Series S; Sony’s recent track record of exclusive hits (eg) Spider Man And Horizon Zero Dawn, Of which are PS5 sequels); Sony Next-Gene is making a case for the next generation with exclusive games; And how weak Microsoft’s first-party lineup is by comparison.

I walked away from Microsoft’s big Xbox Games showcase on July 23, thinking that there was no good reason for me to buy an Xbox Exactly, because every important game is also coming on Windows PC. Some are also coming to the current Xbox One; Many will be playable through Microsoft’s xCloud cloud gaming service via Android phones; And there is a serious question as to whether some of the biggest Xbox games will still be available for two years after launch. Microsoft’s theoretical killer app, Hello infinite, Has already been delayed until 2021 and led to a brand-new project after some fans criticized its graphics.

Sony may be able to argue that it has the games you want – and perhaps even that the Xbox Series S is not a “right” next-gen console.

Also, when back Bloomberg PS5 Pricing Crisis Reported, Sony had not yet announced that it would be shipping two This consoles the holiday season, and it’s highly likely that Sony’s “PlayStation 5 Digital Edition” will give the company some serious pricing benefits.

As far as we can tell, the only difference between the two PS5s is the removal of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drives – “the PS5 gameplay experience will be similar,” Sony says – but the disk drive isn’t necessarily the cheaper part. When Microsoft introduced a similar drive at the $ 299 Xbox One S in 2016, research firm IHS estimated the drive alone cost $ 33.50. When Microsoft removed that drive three years later to make the Xbox One S all-digital version, it was shaved off the console’s price by $ 50.

A blast scene from the Xbox series.
Picture: Microsoft

The savings for Sony are not just in components; Sony will not have to pay Blu-ray and DVD licensing fees, which can cost $ 8 per console on its own console. Anyone who buys the PS5 digital version gives Sony a big cut of each game, as they are sold through the PlayStation store rather than Amazon, Target, Gametop, or the like. Digital games also cannot be resumed, so more buyers will have to buy them at new prices. Even those who prefer discs can find less used discs in the market, as there will be no need for digital shoppers to leave them at their local gametop.

Given all this, it may be easy for Sony to decide to sell the PS5 digital version at a loss (or break-even), as those factors may make the razor-and-blade business model work better than before. Assuming that people buy the PS5 to begin with, of course.

Imagine for a moment that the Sony PS5 Digital Edition is priced at $ 400, and the disc-equipped version at the same $ 500 that Microsoft is asking for the Xbox Series X – perhaps even $ 550, if the PS5 is supply-constrained and Thus is more desirable somehow early adopters. Imagine Sony (and journalists) dropping Microsoft’s $ 300 Xbox Series S against their $ 400 PS5 digital version, and showing you how ugly cross-platform, cross-gen games like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War Look at that particular Xbox.

Heck, imagine Sony taking advantage of the black-box nature of its ridiculously inviting-PS5 preorder queue to lead gamers to whatever version of the console it will help its bottom line, while only allowing a few other systems to select Will offer

It’s not too hard to imagine, is it? Microsoft can now think of the bigger picture than the console, and will choose some Xbox Series S altogether if it costs less than the PS5. They probably wouldn’t be wrong to do so: it looks like it could be an unprecedented gaming box for the money. But overall, this console race is Sony’s defeat. We’re just waiting on the likes of Sony – and Microsoft has ensured everyone but this time it won’t be “US $ 599”.

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