Update 03/06: Sony's PS5 was headed for a big reveal on June 4, in which we'd have been seeing a whole host of brand new games coming out at the end of the year. This reveal has been postponed as a result of the civil unrest engulfing the US.
pic.twitter.com/ZAY8StN0EUJune 1, 2020
Along with the new games being announced, in which we were expecting to see titles like Godfall, Outriders and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, gamers were also hoping to get a glimpse at the final console design. However, one thing not expected to be unveiled during the stream was the PS5's actual cost.
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This is in part due to the game of chicken currently being played between Microsoft and Sony. Both parties are hoping to replicate Sony's success in 2013, when it announced the PS4's price a day after (and $100 cheaper) than Xbox One. Noted games journalist Jeff Grubb tweeted we're unlikely to see console prices until August, which you can see below:
I wouldn't expect console prices until August. When Intel, Nvidia, and AMD launch similar products, they wait until the last possible minute to set a price. It's the one thing they *can* still change. But, of course, consoles rely more on preorders, so can't wait forever.May 20, 2020
However, Sony CEO Jim Ryan has dropped a few hints, in a rare interview published in full on gamesindustry.biz, Ryan acknowledged the difficulties of introducing a premium console during the current global health crisis, dealing with delays and a hard-hit economy.
Ryan said: "Recent history has told us that gaming is one of the pastimes, and one of the businesses, that benefits in economically difficult times.... Who knows how this recession is going to look, how deep it will be and how long it will last.
"I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don't necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things.
"In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games... all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform."
A key phrase here is "I don't necessarily mean the lowest price". We already know Xbox has a "firmed up" price in mind after one interview with Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, but he has insisted the Xbox Series X pricing will be "agile".
With Microsoft's enormous resources behind the Xbox team, the Xbox might be able to suffer a smaller margin than Sony in the short term in an attempt to dominate the market, in much the same way PS4 did during the previous generation. With over 100 million PS4s sold (and counting), Xbox One never quite managed to reach this level of saturation.
With this in mind, Ryan's insistence on overall "value" rather than lower pricing might be an indicator of what's to come, suggesting the PS5 will be more expensive than Xbox Series X at launch.
Gamers might balk at this, but Ryan's comments sounds like he's prepping us for an expensive next generation. Sure, advanced solid state drives and huge games won't come cheap, but if Sony prices the PS5 over the £500 mark and Microsoft can whittle its offering down to below £450 or even £400, it's no surprise which console will sit under more Christmas trees this year.