The Next Gen Table is Finally Set

Whew! For those of you keeping up with next gen console news, it’s been an interesting summer considering that E3 was taken away. Both Microsoft and Sony have had to scramble to change their plans and announce things over the course of months rather than at a major event in front of everyone.

While we can all agree that there has been hits and misses on both sides, one thing that seemed to be an endless struggle was getting pricing and release date news out of either side. It’s like Microsoft and Sony were playing a game of chicken, daring the other to go first so they could gain an advantage and adjust accordingly. Following the sudden reveal of the Xbox Series S pricing, Microsoft finally gave in and gave fans whta they wanted. A week later, Sony followed suit.

Now, all of the information is out in the open and people can finally plan their course of action. So, let’s talk about what we know.

Premium Prices

Before we jump in, one thing that flew pretty far under the radar is the fact that the next gen is also seemingly bringing a price hike to software. When 2K revealed a price increase for it’s next gen sports games, people blew up, but ultimately people likely believed this was simply a case of Take Two being Take Two.

That’s clearly no longer the case. For those who missed it, Destruction AllStars and Demon’s Souls are launching on the PS5 with a $69.99 price tag, 10 bucks more than we’ve gotten used to for standard games.

While the majority of third party games are sticking to the $60 price tag, I don’t see that staying true for much longer. I’m sure companies will be following suit especially starting in 2021.

I really don’t know how I feel about this. On one hand, yes, it’s just 10 bucks. On the other hand, most games have monetization methods on top of the normal game price, so it certainly adds up over time. Does an extra ten bucks dissuade you from taking a chance on a game you’re not sure about?

One thing that’s for certain, the price increase does make Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass way more appealing. Instead of paying 60-70 bucks a pop on a game, their first party content is added to the service at launch along with all the other games already on there. Over time, you’ll be saving a ridiculous amount of cash.

Something to think about I guess. Okay, let’s get to the details!

Xbox Series S/X

The previously known Project Scarlett was revealed at The Game Awards in December 2019. Now known as Xbox Series X, Microsoft has also debuted a cheaper alternative called Xbox Series S (previously Project Lockhart).

Both systems launch in full on November 10, though Series X is going to set you back a bit more than the Series S due to the differences in hardware. The stronger Series X version is set at $500 while Series S comes in at a more accessible $300.

Want specs? Okay, here’s the breakdown between the two systems right from the mouth of Major Nelson:

Pre-orders open up for these guys next week on September 22. With inventory expected to be limited, good luck to everyone out there trying to secure one.

PlayStation 5

As we found out earlier this week, Sony is launching the PS5 on November 12 (for US, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea) and November 19 for everyone else. To stay competitive with its chief rival, the standard edition comes in at $500 while the digital only version is one hundred bucks less at $400.

Unlike the Xbox varieties, there’s really no difference between the two systems from a hardware standpoint. The biggest difference is that the lower priced console is digital only, so no disk drive whatsoever. Want specs? Sure, here you go:

Processor 8x Cores @ 3.5GHz Custom Zen 2 CPU
Graphics 10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2
Memory 16 GB GDDR6, 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s
Internal Storage 825GB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 5.5GB/s (Raw), 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage NVMe SSD slot
External Storage USB external HDD support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive

I won’t lie, I was expecting slightly higher prices, but this is a big win for consumers. It also helps that their launch lineup is pretty strong featuring some solid looking first party titles that Microsoft currently lacks. This includes Spider-Man Miles Morales, Astro’s Playroom (included), Demon’s Souls, the likely overlooked Destruction AllStars, as well as Godfall (not first party but console exclusive).

So, with all the cards on the table, who are you going with? Also, best of luck trying to pre-order these things. I appreciate Microsoft actually giving us a date and time when pre-orders go live. Sony’s quickly spiraled out of control as pre-orders popped up all over the place well ahead of when they were supposed to. Naturally, supplies were ultra-limited making it absurdly difficult to get one. We’ll see if Microsoft has a smoother time next week. Good luck everyone!

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7 Responses to The Next Gen Table is Finally Set

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    They’ve been pushing for $70 games for awhile now, so I’m not surprised. However, I’m still convinced that they don’t actually *need* that extra $10. There’s already plenty of alternative monetization BS in games to make them loads of money, and if it’s really a problem, then why not scale back the massive budgets a bit rather than make us pay for it? Annoying.

    • Yup, agreed. With all the microtransactions going on these days, the extra 10 bucks really feels like a gut punch.

      Alternatively, it makes the Xbox Game Pass look even more appealing now.

      • Hatm0nster says:

        True that. Even more so now that Microsoft bought Bethesda. Was going to be a single console guy this time around, but….might just take a look at the cheaper series X now that they’ve got the guys who publish DOOM , Elder Scrolls and DisHonored. Not to mention all the other devs they’ve bought up. Don’t know for sure yet, but we’ll see when time come to pick up a console in a few months.

  2. jacob says:

    Do you think Bethesda games like Skyrim will be exclusives for Xbox now giving Microsoft own Bethesda now? I’ve done a blog myself on the subject but would like others thoughts.

    • Well, Microsoft has come out and said they’re going to honor previous deals, so we know Deathloop and Ghostwire will still appear on PS. What’s interesting is that they then said future games will be case by case basis. It’s hard to say because there’s justification on both sides. I mean, Minecraft is a huge franchise and Microsoft no doubt makes good money from having the games across all platforms. Then again, there’s something to be said having HUGE IPs like Elder Scrolls and Fallout not be on a rival platform. Makes Xbox and/or Game Pass seem that much more tempting. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Bethesda games go Xbox/PC exclusive.

  3. Pingback: What. A. Mess. | Gamer Crash

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