This week, after months of rumours and an abrupt render leak, Microsoft officially revealed the Xbox Series S to the World. The company showed off the console’s power, size and, most importantly, the price. In November 2020, you’ll be able to pick up the Series S for just £249 (US$299). It’s astonishingly cheap, I know.
However, the Series S is just one of the three next-gen consoles releasing this holiday season, coming out alongside the Xbox Series X and Play Station 5 (plus a Digital Edition variant that removes the disc drive). The Xbox Series S is the only one so far to have revealed its price, and that brings up the question: what’s taking the rest so long?
Sony has been extremely silent on the pricing for PS5 even though we are just a mere two months away from its launch. There are a few reasons as to why the company might be reluctant, and one of the most obvious excuses also seems to be the pettiest. Ever since both consoles were revealed, the price has been the most important part.
With price being so crucial to how successful a console is, it’s no surprise that both Sony and Microsoft are having some kind of price race. Both of them have been reluctant to reveal the cost because it seems they are trying to undercut each other. But the thing about a race is that someone has to win eventually.
What makes the situation all the more ridiculous is when you compare it to how the current-gen consoles were revealed back in 2013. Xbox One’s price was announced during the morning of E3 that year, and PlayStation 4, followed suit, revealing the console’s first look and price later that same evening. Both of these consoles would then be released in November 2013.
For context, E3 takes place during the month of June. We’re currently in September. So what has changed this time around? It’s frustrating that it is taking this long to just see how much I’m going to be saving up for these consoles, if at all.
Customers need time with the prices to work out which console they want, and leaving it to the last minute like this isn’t good for us. The only reason Microsoft revealed the price of Xbox Series S was because of a major leak. But in doing so the company has put itself directly in the spotlight.
It was smart of Microsoft to officially reveal the Series S, as its extremely cheap price has set a low benchmark in people’s minds. When the price of the PS5 is eventually revealed, it’s going to look pretty expensive in comparison to the Series S. Regardless, the price and release date for the two main consoles – Series X and PS5 – have yet to be confirmed.
Maybe the COVID-19 pandemic has switched plans around a bit, and maybe Sony is waiting to see how the economy is before deciding on a price. But I’m not convinced. This price war is taking too much time, and it needs to end.