Sony, Microsoft need to announce next-gen pricing
It's hard to believe, but we're about two months away from the launch of the new PlayStation and Xbox home video game consoles. What's even harder to believe for me is that we are that close to their launches yet we still don't know when this holiday season they are going to launch or how much they're going to cost.
As a comparison, the PlayStation 4 was revealed in March 2013. It's price and Nov. 15, 2013, release date were announced in June of that year. The timing for Microsoft and their Xbox One console was similar.
The ongoing global pandemic has made everything more difficult, so I'm sure that is partly to blame for this delay in Sony and Microsoft announcing the launch date and prices for their new consoles. Unfortunately, I think the real reason we don't have a release date and price for the new systems is that Sony and Microsoft are playing a game of chicken to see who will reveal their details first so they can potentially undercut their competition.
Sony absolutely schooled Microsoft in the marketing push leading up to the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
During their E3 press conference in June 2013, Microsoft announced the Xbox One would release on Nov. 22 of that year with retail price of $500. Then about eight hours later, Sony announced at their press conference that the PlayStation would be $400 at launch. The difference in price, along with Microsoft's controversial always online DRM policy, were enough to give Sony an early lead in this generation's console race, a lead they have only extended. While Microsoft stopped releasing sales figures for their systems years ago, estimates are the PlayStation 4 has outsold the Xbox One by a more than 2-to-1 ratio.
Microsoft obviously doesn't want to repeat the same mistake with the Xbox Series X and announce a price that Sony then undercuts, which is understandable.
For a little while, this game of chicken was actually a little entertaining to watch and fun to speculate about with friends.
But that feeling has passed. These systems are powerhouses technically and are going to be expensive. Both consoles are expected to launch with high-end and more affordable options, but I'm expecting prices to range anywhere from $400 to $600 for them.
At this point I don't care who goes first. Gamers planning to buy these systems at launch need to know much money they need save. Continuing to delay releasing this information is just hurting the consumers at this point.
Dusty Ricketts can be reached at email@example.com. He is currently playing “Fall Guys” and "Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.