- The prices of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have yet to be unveiled, but a gaming analyst and a former Microsoft executive believe Microsoft will undercut Sony.
- The $399 PS4 took an early lead over the $499 Xbox One due to the $100 price difference, and it seems unlikely that Microsoft will make the same mistake twice.
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One of the many ways that Sony built an insurmountable lead over Microsoft in the current console generation was by undercutting the price of the Xbox One at launch. On June 10th, 2013, Microsoft held its E3 press conferences earlier in the day, and Sony held its conference in the evening. Microsoft confirmed that the price of the Xbox One would be $499, and hours later, Sony revealed that the PS4 would cost $399 on launch day.
Both consoles were still months from launch, and yet it already seemed like the war was over. Whether or not it was part of the original plan, Sony took advantage of Microsoft’s error, and the PS4 has had a healthy lead over the Xbox One ever since. But now that this console generation is coming to a close, and the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are on the way, there are those who believe Microsoft will turn the tables on Sony this time around.
Following the Xbox Series X next-gen gameplay showcase last Friday, game journalist and The Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley hosted a short podcast with Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter and Liverpool Football Club CEO Peter Moore, who was previously an executive at Microsoft.
The three discussed a variety of topics during their conversation, including the prices of the upcoming consoles, and both Pachter and Moore, who once held a similar position to current Xbox head Phil Spencer, agreed that Microsoft is going to wait for Sony to announce the release details of the PS5 before doing the same.
“From what I’ve seen, Sony’s gonna have to charge $500 for their PS5, and Microsoft has a big balance sheet,” said Pachter. “If they want to cut the price by $100, just price below and subsidize the first 10 million, they will. So, I think they’re waiting to have Sony blink first, and then they’ll reveal the price and the launch date. It’s gonna be holiday, very likely sometime in November, very likely $400, and fans are gonna get a lot for their $400.”
Moore agreed with Pachter, saying that both companies are currently trying to decide how much they can afford to lose in the first year, what the attach rate of software to hardware is going to be at launch, and what they’re willing to do to hit 10 million sales as quickly as possible. Were he still at his old job, Moore says that he’d be daring Sony “to come in at $500,” which a Bloomberg report from earlier this year suggests might be the case.
We’re just months away from the next-generation console launches, but there’s still plenty we don’t know about either console, including their prices and release dates. You can watch the full discussion below: