Next-generation consoles are nearly upon us. Both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are coming before the end of the year–the new Xbox is now confirmed for November–meaning we’re no more than three months away from having new consoles in our hands. Despite that, we still don’t know exactly when they’re coming and, more notably, how much they’ll cost. But you don’t have to look that far back to see the wait for this information isn’t unprecedented.
Nintendo Switch launched on March 3, 2017, but it wasn’t until January 12–less than two months earlier–that Nintendo shared a price or release date. That’s 50 days before launch! It’s wild to think that news came so late in the game, but that didn’t stop the Switch from selling out when pre-orders went live just hours after the date and price were announced (though there were some available at launch). Likewise, Xbox 360’s price wasn’t announced until mid-August, just three months before launch.
I’ve seen people continue to express astonishment that such critical details about PS5 or Xbox remain unknown at this late stage. And I get it: Who can forget PS3’s “five-hundred and ninety-nine US dollars” at E3 2006, five months before release? We heard about pricing for PS4 and Xbox One back to back during E3 in June 2013, again, five months before they hit store shelves. While this year may not have seen an E3, we have already gotten events from both Sony and Microsoft that effectively served as substitutes for their usual E3 press conferences, and yet these details remain unknown as of mid-August.
PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to sell out at launch regardless of their exact release dates and prices. Supply constraints are always the major hurdle for a major new console launch, and that’s certain to be the case once again this fall, Halo Infinite or not.
Sony and Microsoft are playing something of a cat-and-mouse game, but they are reaching a point where they’ll have no choice but to announce pricing. As NPD’s Mat Piscatella points out, retailers need to have this information in order to open pre-orders and to generally handle the logistics of selling a new piece of hardware. Once retailers begin to get that information, it will invariably leak, so it’s likely that both companies would aim to make an announcement around the time retailers are informed.
Piscatella does also intriguingly note the prospect of Sony or Microsoft wanting to focus on selling the systems through their own online stores. Of course, that might not sit well with retail partners, and there’s already some question if GameStop–which famously refused to sell the all-digital Xbox One S model–will carry the PS5’s Digital Edition, which lacks a disc drive and thus cuts into GameStop’s lucrative used game business.
We’ve made our own predictions for how much Xbox Series X and PS5 will cost, with many of us here at GameSpot expecting them to come in around the $500 mark. The real wild card will be the still-unannounced Xbox Series S and just how low Microsoft decides to push its price. The goal with that system will surely be to undercut the price of both Series X and PS5, but it can only effectively make that announcement once we know what those confirmed consoles will cost.
One way or another, we’ll be finding out about pricing soon, and once we do, that should set off a flurry of other announcements. Exciting times lie ahead.
PS5 And PS4 News And Announcements
- PlayStation State Of Play: PS5 Games And Everything Shown
- Braid Anniversary Edition Announced At PlayStation Event
- Bugsnax Gets Gameplay Debut At PlayStation State Of Play
- Sony Reveals New PlayStation 5 Game Hood During State Of Play
- Spelunky 2 Is Launching Next Month
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