PS5 & Xbox Series X - Sony will win on Price - I'm calling it

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MonkeyKing1969

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I won't back this up with much, because I don't have to back this up much to make the call. The PS5 will be less expensive than the Xbox Series X. BTW: Folks don't take this so seriesly you get mad. Lets have a nice civil discussion

1) Sony came out with PS4 at a lower price compared to Xbox One - the strategy worked well for quickers sales out of the gate. PS4 Pro came out at a Lower Price than Xbox One X too - again, it worked, because again it sold better too.

2) Sony was burned by it high price not a bad system for PS3. Sure, it was harder to program for, but 90% of games are made with middleware. Harder was very relative. The PS3 didn't lack for games, it had slow sales. Sales can be attributed greatly to what customer thought of the price. Once bitten twice shy baby, they won't come out higher than Microsoft

3) If leaks are true PS5 will have a about the same processor, but will likely have a smaller APU die. Sony's choice for GPU core count is smaller, its choice for memory bus is smaller too -if rumor are to be believed. Smaller APU die means more chips fit on a wafer even ift is just 4 more or two more. More chips on a wafer means all thing being equal they get a bigger yield of chips on a wafer. There could be be a greater % of yield on a smaller chip with less graphics cores; but that is more theatrical. Bottom line is more PS5 APUs will come off one wafer as long as there are not defect yield issues...issues that Xbox can suffer as well. Which is why we say, 'all things being equal.'

4) It is hard to say, because there is variance isn GPU core count and speed and memory bus; but less cores on a smaller APU is LIKELY to means the PS5 chip will have a lower TDP thermal design power (TDP) or thermal design point. Less energy can mean less heat, less heat can mean Sony can get away with a smaller internal power supply; a smaller power supply generates less heat itself. A few small % drops in heat generated can add up. A smaller of less complex cooling solution would be less expensive. Sony could have more wiggle room for power supply and cooling, which means more wiggle room for console size and weight.

Summation:

  • Better APU yield if more dies fit on the wafer
  • less power needed on a smaller die that has less GPU cores, less power means less cooling needed
  • possibly less costly power supply and less expensive cooling solutions because of above
  • less complex to build system is faster to make and easier to test and/or ship

If nothing else that last two console cycle have show that overall CPU/GPU throughput does not always lead to the best sales. Consoles are a balance of "how good can this look" vs "cost". The Xbox Series X could very well be process more screens faster or shineyer. But, how much better and at what cost? I think Microsoft has gotten caught up in the "We have to be better, we have to be a few FPS faster, we have to make PC and console games the same!" Better specs are...better. But, if they come in $75 to $100 more expensive they will lose a % of customers. Console games on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro look good, to sell new system they system have be worth getting.

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fugoy

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I don't know the exact price but yeah ps5 will probably end up being less expensive.

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Jesus_Phish

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I fully expect MS to go the contract route that they've already started establishing with the current hardware. If they can get you paying $40-50 a month or less for

  • The most* powerful console (*if it is)
  • Xbox Live Gold
  • Xbox Game Pass

then that's a hard deal to pass up. All that for less than a full AAA title a month, including "free" AAA titles from their own studios? It would make something like a $500-600 price tag much easier to swallow. The current monthly repayment plans are pretty good, they're basically no different than an initial one off payment other than it's spread out.

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Yesiamaduck

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#4  Edited By Yesiamaduck

@jesus_phish: they've already gone that route, a pricing plan, duration etc etc in place. If the UK they do it through GAME and if you subscribed for 25pound a month you got an Xbox One X, gamepass and xbox live over a 18... maybe 24month, I forget, period. Once the contract is done you own the box and ha e the option to upgrade to the newest console. In this instance they offered an upgrade when the new box comes out for early adopters so they aren't stuck with a one x for the next gen

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isomeri

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It seems pretty obvious that Microsoft have been developing the Lockhart SKU as an option for more price conscious consumers. PlayStation has a ton of good brand recognition going into the next gen though, which is why I do see it selling more out of the gate.

But going back to the pricing, this is my hot take on how the three consoles will compare:

  • Xbox Series X (499 €)
  • PlayStation 5 (399 €)
  • Xbox "Lockhart" (349 €)
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Humanity

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I wonder how much price will influence the crowds in the upcoming generation. Microsoft has been building a lot of good will over the last two to three years with great offers, great hardware and an overall consumer friendly approach. They’ve also shown that they’re open to feedback and for better or worse not afraid to shake things up - the XB1 dash has gone through a couple of iterations. The one thing they’ve been consistently missing are strong exclusive titles. PlayStation started strong, primarily because MS shot themselves in the foot so hard they were basically out of the race for the most of this gen, and where they’ve faltered in any sort of evolution over the years they’ve made up ground with compelling, blockbuster exclusives that covered a wide range of genres.

At this point I find it hard to imagine gaming without Game Pass and that plays a huge role in which console I’ll buy first.

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ZombiePie

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Given where console gaming is today, and how disinterested Microsoft is in treating this like a console war, does it even matter? The way we judge the success of a console is completely different in the age of Game Pass.

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pweidman

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#8  Edited By pweidman

I save several hundred dollars a year playing games on the Pass, so it's a forgone conclusion to get the Series X. I don't think price will determine sales really. It's more about brand loyalty and exclusive games. And probably to some degree the integration w/pc and crossplay capability.

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OurSin_360

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I don't know, last time they had an advantage going into a new console cycle they did the PS3. Hopefully they learned from that, but success seems to inflate the ego a bit for some.

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Corvak

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Sony may win on price, but will it matter?

Microsoft has already conceded the "hardware fight" if it still exists, due to how they have announced Series X games will work. With all Series X games still running at lower res and fps on Xbox One, not to mention PC. The thing about hardware, is that it never really makes money. It's frequently a loss leader, and at best sells at a razor thin margin, because they have to keep doing price drops to widen the install base. I don't expect Microsoft's compatibility to continue forever - eventually games won't run on an Xbox One S, and eventually the X may get left behind as well. Main question is how good developers decide to be at supporting that - it's closer to a PC than a console, the Xbox One is the minimum spec, with the Series X reccommended.

I am not sure what kind of profit MS gets from Game Pass vs. what they lose from not making as many direct $60 sales, but it has to be doing ok or they wouldn't still be doing it. Though I would guess some of the lost sales are made back from an expanded number of people buying DLC for game pass titles.

What if Sony quadruples the Series X sales numbers, but Halo Infinite runs away with game sales due to Steam and Game Pass? I mean its possible people just...don't jump onto a new console gen at all. Since we still don't know much about launch titles other than Halo, its all conjecture - I think we will continue to see Sony have more console exclusives, but nobody not owned by a platform is going to make anything exclusive unless they get paid to do it, particularly with PS5, Series X and PC being functionally identical now. That said, I think Sony's initial sales hinge entirely on what comes out with that system.

My feeling is that if the rumors are true and we are looking at $500+ USD (So like $650 here in Canada?) we are going to see a couple things. First off, more people than usual are going to hold off on making the switch, and keep playing their PS4. Some people might just sit on the fence and wait for a game they just don't want to miss, or the inevitable PS5 Pro.

Secondly, we might get another uptick in people building gaming PCs, which even with the PS4 being relatively affordable compared to PC, that still seemed to happen in 2013 and continued throughout the generation. I have a feeling its a demographic thing, with millenials in their 30s, now with families and kids, finding it more convenient to play games on a PC or laptop than taking up the family room TV.

I have to admit, whenever I fire up my PS4, the loading times feel like agony after getting used to having SSDs on my PC, so I am looking forward to faster systems.

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wardcleaver

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#11  Edited By wardcleaver

MS is not going to price themselves out of competition. Both companies have done that and it didn't go so well. If their console is technically better than Sony's, MS is going to price it the same as Sony's, regardless of the cost. At this point, they really have no other choice.

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notnert427

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After winning this gen, I'm expecting either Sony to get "599 US dollars" levels of smug again with the PS5 and/or MS to have learned their Kinect force-bundling lesson to realize how important the initial price point is to some.

MS has also pivoted more towards a "service" model already, and I fully expect some kind of "pay x per month for the console, live, and game pass" option. It's exactly what I would do in their position to both leverage their biggest advantage in Game Pass and to avoid people having sticker shock as they did with the $499 Xbox One. It's easier to sell people on, say, $30/month for the whole deal than it is to ask for half a grand at once. In this case, the math somewhat works out for both MS and the consumer.

For the consumer, this is a tempting value proposition (at least initially), because the alternative of, say, $500 for the console and $180 per year for Game Pass Ultimate (regular Game Pass at $120/year plus $60/year of Xbox Live actually costs the exact same) works out after two years to $860, whereas the two-year cost of owning a Series X/Game Pass/Live on the $30/month plan is $720. It would be a breeze to sell this idea based on costs that are lower "up-front" and for a few years to come, especially if it's the idea of this $30/month all-inclusive package vs. dropping $500ish on just the PS5 console.

Where the math works out for MS is in the later years. By year three, MS would have made $1040 off of someone who bought a full-priced console plus game pass ultimate. Whereas with the $30/month for everything plan, they would have made $1080. It's all gravy at this point and going forward for MS in this scenario, and it really starts paying off later on. Year four is $1440 instead of $1220. Year five is $1800 instead of $1400. And so on. Just require a 2-year agreement so that people have to keep the console long enough to have more than paid for the hardware and they're covered.

I wouldn't be surprised MS undercuts the PS5 on the full-priced console on top of such a plan anyway. Spencer has made it pretty clear that he cares more about getting users under their umbrella long-term than he does selling consoles, so I'm half-expecting MS to undercut Sony here even if it means gutting profit (if there even is any) on the hardware itself. They can completely afford to lose money there if they're gaining it back in spades over time as detailed above, and more importantly, securing long-term customers. That's their focus, and IMO, it's a good and sensible one.

Time will tell, but if I'm MS, I wait on Sony to announce their price, then either price the Series X identical to or $20 below that price, in addition to offering what amounts to a phone-esque payment plan for everything.

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ThePanzini

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#13  Edited By ThePanzini

I fully expect the PS5 to be cheaper it matters more to Sony's business, and with the Series X its sounds like MS is going for the power angle and judging from the OneX and this generation their less likely to take a loss.

I also fail to see how a pay per month for hardware sceme would help its been tried several times already more recently with the SAD but with little to no succes, and even if it did work Sony could easily do the same. Your guaranteed to sellout every box you make for 18 months or so a pay per month would be pointless after that the narrative would already have been set.

MS has to convince PS4 to give up their library of games from the past 7 years I don't think game pass is the answer it hasn't been this generation. Its games its always games MS bought alot of studios but how many will have prestige games to really show off the hardware and generate buzz.

MS will likely have better hardware without the software to show it off.