THE new Xbox and PlayStation consoles could cost upwards of £600 when they launch later this year, according to experts.
Dubbed the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the pair will reportedly share similar price tags, specs and features when they hit shelves in late 2020.
Both Microsoft and Sony have broken cover in recent months to confirm they’re building new consoles.
Few details have emerged, though each promises more power and better graphics than any gaming machine before it.
And while we know a release date – “Holidays 2020”, or, likely sometime in November – Microsoft and Sony have kept tight-lipped on price tags.
That may be because they’ll be among the most expensive consoles in recent memory, according to analysts.
“I expect pricing of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X to be similar,” IHS Markit Technology’s Piers Harding-Rolls told gaming news site Games Industry.
“It’s more likely than not they will be higher than the PS4 launch price point of $399 [£399].”
The lofty pricing may push Microsoft to release two consoles in its bid to bag more sales than Sony.
“A high price point may prompt Microsoft to … release a less powerful, cheaper version of its next-gen platform during the launch window,” Harding-Rolls said.
PlayStation releases – what’s the history
Here’s what you need to know…
- The original PlayStation launched in Europe in 1995
- This was followed by the PlayStation 2 in the year 2000
- The PlayStation 3 arrived over half a decade later, in 2006
- Then gamers had to wait a further seven years for 2013’s PS4 launch
- Based on those dates, there’s an average of six years between each new PlayStation generation
- But 2016’s PlayStation 4 Pro threw a spanner in the works
- The mid-generation console offered gamers a graphical upgrade – without releasing a brand new console generation
- Sony has announced a PS5 release for 2020, four years after the PS4 Pro and six years after the PS4
“I don’t expect Sony to follow this product strategy at launch.”
Among the predicted prices of the next generation, gaming consoles were $450, $500, and $600. It’s likely the consoles will launch at those same price points in the UK, meaning between £450 and £600.
Other analysts predicted that the two consoles will share similar specs, pricing and features.
“Both consoles will be a lot more similar to each other in terms of specs, pricing, and features when compared to the last generation,” said Serkan Toto of Kantan Games.
“Microsoft will likely avoid shenanigans like higher price (I expect $499 price tags for both), weaker specs, restrictions to used disc sales etc.”
Microsoft confirmed last month that its new console would be named the Xbox Series X.
The new console will apparently run games at 4K resolution – double that of HD – with the possibility of running 8K.
It will also process games faster so as to “eliminate” loading times. A new Halo title will launch with the console.
Sony got in a bit before Microsoft, revealing details of its PS5 console in October, 2019.
Loading up a game on the PlayStation 5 will be ten times faster than on PS4, according to Sony.
Xbox Series X news and rumours – what we know so far
Here’s what we know about the next-gen Xbox…
- Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox will come out towards the end of 2020
- It was officially unveiled in December 2019 after months of rumours and speculation.
- Dubbed the Series X, Microsoft referred to the console under the development codename ‘Project Scarlett’ for several months
- As with the next PlayStation, it’s going to use super speedy ‘solid state’ storage to drastically reduce or even totally eliminate loading times
- This means your games should start up almost instantly, and there won’t be lengthy pauses between scenes, or when moving from one part of a game’s world to another
- It’s going to be able to play older games too, with Microsoft making big promises about backwards compatibility
- “Thousands of games across four console generations will look and play best on the Series X,” they say, referring to the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One and the new console
- The third area where they matched Sony is the chips at the console’s heart – the brains of the Series X is the same AMD Navi technology at the heart of Sony’s next console
- It’s not quite identical to the PlayStation chips, as both are custom-made for the companies in question
- AMD promised Sony’s “special sauce” was built into their chips, while Microsoft describe the core of their new box is a “custom-designed AMD processor”
- Xbox boss Phil Spencer also revealed that processor would have hardware dedicated to ray-tracing
- Ray-tracing is a new technology just making it into the most expensive gaming PCs that makes lighting and sound incredibly realistic by calculating the exact path of each ray of light or sound wave through transparent objects and off reflective surfaces
- This gives you much more realistic lighting and reflections as well as much more natural looking materials and objects
- Sony has confirmed the next PlayStation will have something similar, but hasn’t revealed if the console will have hardware specifically dedicated to it
- Finally, Microsoft also revealed that Halo: Infinite, which is first revealed at the same briefing last year, is going to launch with the new Xbox
- The latest chapter in the story of Master Chief will release alongside Series X devices in time for “Holidays 2020”, meaning around mid-November
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Microsoft unveiled its upcoming console last month.
Read our round-up of the latest rumours about the Xbox 2 and PS5.
And find out why both of these consoles could be the last you ever own.
Are you excited for the new consoles? Let us know in the comments!
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