Thanks to Sony’s recent event, we know the PlayStation 5’s design, its games, and its approach to the industry at large. However, we still don’t know the most important factor: price.
Less than six months from the supposed release date, speculation is tiring. We should know how much to save for these next-generation boxes by now. That said, reading between the lines can reveal some key insights.
We’re already pretty sure the Xbox Series X will price quite high. This is, in part, due to the suspected, lower-powered Lockhart console. But, somewhat ironically, a former Xbox head claims the PlayStation 5 will cap at $500–if it even hits that price point.
As reported by GameSpot , Xbox’s former marketing head for three console generations, Albert Penello, claims that while the price is “the most important indicator of success,” there’s “no way” this box prices over $500.
Hell, even $500 is a high price point. The Xbox One started that high, and it handed an early victory to Sony’s $400 PlayStation 4. It’s unlikely anyone will make that mistake again, especially during current times.
However, we can’t forget that Sony revealed a diskless iteration of the PlayStation 5. Could this be their way of justifying a higher price for the main box? A $500 or even $600 PlayStation 5 looks much better next to a $100 cheaper all-digital one.
Microsoft can also justify a higher-priced console even without Lockhart. Thanks to Game Pass, all one needs is a box, and they have hundreds of games available for one low price. A PlayStation 5 still requires additional game purchases though it does have the PS Now streaming service, as well.
It’s almost certain the Xbox Series X will price higher. Phil Spencer all but confirmed this in a recent interview. But unlike the start of current-gen, they have the services to back that up.
PlayStation 5 might price a little lower, but gamers will still spend an extra $100 or more buying additional titles and even a new controller. Will a diskless option be enough to justify a higher price? Only time will tell, but it’d be nice to have these two massive companies stop playing chicken with the price.