The PS5, Xbox Series X Game of Price Chicken Needs to EndStan HogewegGame Rant – Feed


It’s been a little while since the game industry saw two titans of the gaming industry do “battle” quite like Microsoft and Sony are doing right now. Players and critics everywhere have been spectators for months as these companies fight to claim dominance with their respective next-gen consoles, while the PS5 and the Xbox Series X both insist they’re ready to redefine gaming with hardware unlike anything that’s come before. It’s certainly inspiring to speculate about what these consoles will be capable of, but nothing comes for free. There’ll be a price tag on these consoles for sure — and right now, that’s their biggest mutual weakness.

The weakness isn’t that these consoles are liable to be expensive; it’s that the rest of the industry has no idea whether or not these consoles actually are expensive. Neither Microsoft nor Sony has stepped forward and revealed their price so far, even after months of speculation and leaks claiming to point to upcoming reveals. Every time those dates come and go, the problem becomes more apparent. Consumers want to know how much the PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to cost them, but the companies are daring one another to make the first move. Every day that this goes on is another day that the market becomes more anxious.

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In a way, the tension in the air isn’t surprising. As these companies simultaneously try to establish themselves as gaming pioneers, there was bound to be some fierce competition. For a while, Sony and Microsoft succeeded here. Conversation around the PS5 and the Xbox Series X had a lot to do with each device’s hardware, the power and performance compared to the last generation, and the games each company had to offer. By now, each company has had a big summer conference to talk about release titles, and the hardware has been revealed, so there’s not much to speculate about anymore on those fronts.

Now, there are only two big things that are unknown: the release dates and the prices. The release dates can be approximated to November or December since both companies are aiming for the holiday season, with November more likely, which only leaves the cost. Even though Xbox and PlayStation consumers know how long they might have to budget for a new console, it’s practically impossible to budget if they don’t know how much to save up. The less time these companies give players to plan for buying consoles that could cost $500 or more, the harder it’s going to be to capitalize on the holiday season, which is supposed to be a great time for sales.

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One can sympathize with the companies a little bit when one considers that E3, which was cancelled this year, was the venue where they announced console prices last time. However, both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 got major online conferences this summer that proved their developers know how to put together an announcement in the digital age. They have the forums to put prices forward. Instead, they’re using the looming announcements as a new arena to compete, which hurts games on their platforms as well as consumers. If consumers aren’t sure they can get the new console, the release titles will have a much harder time finding audiences.

Admittedly, the tension created by the doubt gives these companies the attention they presumably want. The problem is that there’s no point in consumers paying attention to the new Xbox and PlayStation if they aren’t prepared to buy them because they didn’t know what it would cost them. Ultimately, the game of chicken could end in frustration for consumers and a holiday of hubris for the developers. Price information needs to come out soon to make sure the holiday season is exciting for everyone, not disappointing. This high-noon duel between Sony and Microsoft can’t last forever. Eventually, someone has to pull the trigger.

The PS5 and the Xbox Series X will release in holiday 2020.

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