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If this new leak is true, the PS5 has already won the next-gen console war

Published Feb 6th, 2020 10:12AM EST
PS5 Price vs. Xbox
Image: Jomic/Shutterstock

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Sony and Microsoft are playing a cat and mouse game when it comes to official announcements about their next-gen consoles. Both companies have revealed some of the internal hardware that will power the devices, practically confirming that the PS5 and new Xbox will share the same new custom CPU and GPU that AMD has been developing for consoles. They also confirmed the new products will feature SSD storage that will deliver an extra boost in performance compared to HDDs. But we haven’t seen actual specs for either device. Sony did unveil some features of the new controller and confirmed the PS5’s official name back in October. Then, a few weeks later, Microsoft showed the Xbox Series X to the world and revealed its name as well. Early January brought us the PS5’s logo, and that was the last piece of official news about the console that Sony announced. We’ve seen a bunch of rumors that tackled everything from performance and specs to actual launch dates, but those are just unconfirmed reports.

A few days ago, Sony said the PS5’s price hasn’t been decided, but suggested that it may end up selling the console below cost, a strategy Sony used for the PS4 as well. With that in mind, there’s now a leak suggesting that the PS5 might be less powerful than the Series X, and that’s why Sony might be looking to undercut Microsoft’s price. But there’s another reason Sony would look to sell the PS5 for less than Microsoft ends up charging for the new Xbox Series X: The company would almost certainly win the next-gen console war, just like it won with the PS4.

Citing an IGN Japan live stream on YouTube, ComicBook notes that the PS5 might be cheaper than the new Xbox Series X — here’s a translation of the actual quote from IGN’s editor-in-chief Shin Imai:

The Xbox Series X is doubtless aiming for much greater performance than the PS5. There are some differences in specs, and PS5 aims be cheaper than the Xbox Series X as a result.

It’s unclear whether that’s based on sourced information about the new console, or whether it’s speculation based on rumors. Recent reports did say that the Xbox will have an advantage over the PS5 when it comes to graphics performance, but that Sony will beat Microsoft on RAM (speed and amount) and storage (speed and amount). Some of those reports also mentioned the price of the consoles, but the figures varied. Some say both consoles will cost $499 while others claim the Xbox Series X will cost $100 more than the PS5’s $499 price tag.

Looking back at the PS4 and Xbox One launches, we’ll remind you that the PS4 was $100 less expensive than the Xbox, but Microsoft bundled a Kinect with the console. That lower price point helped Sony gain serious momentum though, and the Xbox One was never able to catch up with Sony’s PS4 sales. Since then, Microsoft released cheaper versions of the Xbox without Kinect or even a disc drive, but that didn’t help the company outsell the PS4. To date, Sony has sold almost 110 million PS4 units, while Xbox One sales have only reached 50 million, according to estimates.

It’s obviously still unclear how the two new consoles will be priced, but it’s important to note that Sony still has the momentum. If the PS5 manages to undercut the Xbox Series X on price at launch just like the PS4 did with the Xbox One, it could be game over for Microsoft.

If you speak Japanese or you’re happy to follow IGN Japan’s video with Google’s machine-translated captions on top, check out the full clip below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.