After remaining capped at $60 for multiple console generations, new game prices are set to spiral higher when the PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Xbox Series X launch this year.
NBA 2K21 confirmed the long-rumored news with a $70 price tag, and we can expect other games will buck longstanding pricing conventions too.
New evidence suggests the new generation won’t merely raise the price “cap” to $70. Some titles might cost $65, while others could stretch to $80 or $90 – especially if a new listing “leak” is accurate.
As first revealed by LetsGoDigital , Dutch retailer Bol.com listed titles like Horizon 2 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales at €74.99. That converts to $85, a whopping $25 more than current full-priced games.
The price could be a placeholder, but there’s little doubt it hints that we’ll see game prices exceed $70 when the new generation arrives.
Despite what you may think, this is not a bad thing for gamers.
As former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden has warned, the current state of game development isn’t sustainable .
There’s a reason microtransaction use has exploded. It’s the same reason an infuriating amount of “basic” content gets slapped with a “premium” label and restricted to players willing to pay for a “deluxe” edition.
Developers either need more money, or they need to cut their budgets.
Something tells me the latter isn’t likely.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X promise immersive experiences, unlike anything we’ve seen.
Those experiences come with a price tag, and it’s unrealistic to expect a new PS5 game will cost as much as a new PS3 title did a decade ago.
If you want more power, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Luckily, there might be a silver lining. Rumor has it that the PS5 console won’t be as expensive as most analysts expected. According to an alleged leak of a Nielsen pricing survey , the digital-only version of the device could be as cheap as $323.
Even if the final console prices do exceed that price-point, budget-conscious gamers can take advantage of subscription services like Game Pass and PS Now rather than purchasing new titles on launch day.
Let’s face it: A $60 ceiling on game prices was never sustainable. A change is long overdue. With the advent of a new hardware generation, the timing is right. We might as well embrace it.