Will a $100 Undercut Be Enough for the Xbox Series X to Beat PS5?

May 11, 2020 7:10 PM UTC
The Xbox Series X is allegedly going to be at least $100 cheaper than the PS5, but will that be enough for Microsoft to come out victorious?
  • Industry insiders have claimed that the Xbox Series X will undercut the PS5 by $100.
  • This means Xbox wouldn’t reveal its price until after PS5.
  • While being cheaper will be a boon for Microsoft’s hardware, it doesn’t guarantee victory.

We still don’t have a price for the Xbox Series X yet. But, according to two industry insiders, we do know why.

According to analyst Michael Pachter and ex-Microsoft executive Peter Moore, Xbox plans to undercut the PS5 by $100. This means they can’t reveal the price until Sony does first. So we might have a while to wait before we find out how much either console is going to cost.

The question is: will Microsoft’s tactic be enough?

Microsoft can claim that Series X is the most powerful console, but power doesn’t guarantee anything. | Source: Xbox Series X Site

Microsoft Needs the Xbox Series X to Beat the PS5

This past generation hasn’t been great for the Xbox brand. While they’ve made decent headway with gaming subscriptions, Sony has beaten their pants off. The PS4 has sold more than double the units of the Xbox One.

That is a big blow to Microsoft. If they want to have a decent future in console gaming, they need to regain the competitive edge they had with the Xbox 360. The Xbox Series X is their chance to do that, but only if they play their cards right.

The Xbox Series X gameplay reveal didn’t go too well, so all this discussion on lower prices might end up being a moot point. | Source: YouTube

Low Prices Have Worked for Them in the Past

The Xbox 360 was considerably cheaper than the PS3 at launch. Despite having a severe hardware failure, this gave Microsoft a considerable headstart over Sony, even though the PS3 was technically more powerful and included a Blu Ray player.

There were other factors in the last generation battle, but undercutting the competition is a big help. If the Xbox Series X standard version is $100 cheaper than the PS5, that’ll be a big draw for gamers on a budget.

No amount of SSD speed debates and amazing 3D audio features will make up for such a vast difference in cost.

Undercutting Doesn’t Guarantee Success for the Xbox Series X

Even if the Xbox Series X is much cheaper than the PS5, Microsoft can’t get complacent. There are a few major roadblocks that might create issues during the next generation.

The first, and biggest, of those roadblocks, is Japan. Sony has an established market in Japan, and the Xbox brand just doesn’t sell over there. Less than 0.3% of all Xbox One sales occurred in Japan. While Xbox doesn’t need the Japanese market to succeed, it does cause them to forfeit a large market share to Sony.

Either way, it looks like the Xbox Series X is going to end up being the choice for those gamers on a budget. Considering how bad the economy will likely be, that might just mean they stand a chance.

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William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.