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What if the PS5 is much cheaper than we expect?

Published Mar 21st, 2020 1:44PM EDT
PS5 Release Date
Image: Jomic/Shutterstock

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  • The Xbox Series X has an edge over the PS5 when it comes to specs, but Sony’s console could have a formidable weapon.
  • The PlayStation 5’s price, often rumored to be set at around $500, might end up being more affordable than that.
  • A former Xbox exec says that in light of Sony’s PlayStation hardware announcement, the PS5 would be a “great deal” at $399.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Both Microsoft and Sony have announced the full hardware details for the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles. Sony actually hosted a PS5 event on YouTube that was aimed at developers, and therefore incredibly dull for most people in the audience. Microsoft continued its series of surprises by showing off the Xbox Series X’s internals complete with concrete specs details. Microsoft has easily won this week’s duel with Sony, as the new Xbox is faster than the PS5 when it comes to CPU and GPU performance, and it also has a slightly bigger SSD. The new Xbox also wins when it comes to backward compatibility, and is the only console of the two to feature a neat storage upgrade solution. Sony’s console, meanwhile, will deliver a faster SSD experience than the Xbox and most computers, but it’s not without compromise. With all that in mind, is it possible for the PS5 to beat the Xbox where it matters most — the price?

For months now, we’ve heard all sorts of rumors when it comes to the final price tag of each console. Most of them argue that both the PS5 and the Xbox will retail for $499, while others said the consoles might be even more expensive than that. But in light of this week’s announcement, is it possible for the PS5 to be a lot more affordable than we thought?

Former senior director of Xbox console marketing Albert Penello seems to think that could be a possibility. He addressed the PS5 specs reveal on Resetera, where he said that $399 is a great deal for the new PlayStation (via ScreenRant):

I think they are making a couple very smart moves, actually. Remember, I never thought it was going to be much over 9Tflops, so I’m not disappointed.

If this thing is actually $399, I think it’s a great deal.

While the Xbox has the edge over the PS5 when it comes to theoretical performance, it’s likely that gamers won’t be able to notice the minor differences, as both consoles will be significantly faster and more powerful than the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. A $399 PS5 could do wonders for Sony, especially if the Xbox Series X ends up costing $449 or $499.

Previous Sony remarks indicated that the company is looking to make the console as affordable as it can, in an effort to convince PS4 owners to upgrade to the PS5 as fast as possible. A $399 price tag might just do the trick. That’s all speculation at this time, of course. Even if Penello is an Xbox veteran, he can’t know what either of the new consoles will cost.

All that having been said, the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly altered the PS5 and Xbox reveal schedule significantly, and it might lead to an actual release delay for both consoles. Furthermore, stock shortages are expected during the holiday season, especially if the COVID-19 outbreak impacts the supply chain in China.

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.