Microsoft’s shockingly low price for its upcoming Xbox Series S surprised more than just video game fans — it also stunned chief rival Sony.
The Japanese gaming giant is under pressure to slash the MSRP of its upcoming PlayStation 5, which European blog Gamereactor reports was “considerably” higher than the prices Microsoft announced for its two new consoles.
The console makers have for months been locked in a staredown over who would release pricing details for their next generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles first. Microsoft this week revealed that its top-tier Xbox Series X would cost $499, while the budget Series S would retail for a wallet-friendly $299.
Rumors had pegged the high-end PlayStation 5 as selling for as much as $599, with its all-digital little brother retailing for $499. Following Microsoft’s announcement, however, Sony may decide to lop $100 off of each console’s price tag to better compete with Xbox, according to Gamereactor.
Onlookers had been expecting to shell out a minimum of $400 for a next-generation console, whose top-of-the-line processors and tech specs promise to deliver lifelike graphics. The Series S pricing means that a new gaming system can be had for the same price as the 7-year-old PlayStation 4 or Xbox One — and matches the $299 price of the mega popular Nintendo Switch.
Indeed, the Xbox Series X’s $499 price tag is lower than the $599 Sony asked for when it first announced the PlayStation 3 back in 2006.
It’s not the first time that Sony has waited to see what Microsoft was going to charge for its new Xbox. Back in 2013 Sony undercut the Xbox One’s pricing by $100 when it announced that the PlayStation 4 would sell for $399.
The new Xbox models will be available for preorder on Sept. 22, and will hit stores on Nov. 10. Sony has not announced a release date for the PlayStation 5 yet, but has said that it will be available in time for the all-important holiday shopping season.
Both Xbox consoles will be available through the Xbox All Access installment program, which will allow gamers to pay either $35 or $25 per month for their Series S or Series X for a 24-month period and have access to a library of Xbox games.
Sony is bracing for high demand for the new PlayStation, and will be limiting sales of its new console to one per person, according to text found in the PlayStation website’s backend code earlier in the summer.
“You can only purchase one version of the PS5 Console: Disc or Digital,” reads a pop-up that will be displayed to customers who try to buy multiple consoles. “You have already added one PS5 console to your cart.”
Sony is expecting a rush for the high-powered device as the consumer appetite for gaming has surged due to the coronavirus keeping people indoors. The Japanese juggernaut is reportedly ramping up production and plans to have 10 million consoles available when the PS5 is released later this year.