We are officially in the month of August, eight months into the year that is 2020. It has been one hell of a roller coaster of a year that is far from over. One thing many people are looking forward to is the launch of the next-generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Despite the struggles of COVID-19 both Xbox and PlayStation remain determined that they will be launching their consoles in holiday 2020. Yet, here we are in August and there are a massive amount of details we don’t know.
The biggest question remains is, what the prices of these consoles will be when they launch? The recently announced August State of Play reportedly will not talk about major PS5 details. While Xbox has a rumored August event, there is nothing concrete on when that event could be. The Xbox Series X and PS5 console launch could potentially be in the next three months, how much longer can PlayStation and Xbox play chicken?
What We Should Already Know?
In a typical console launch year, by now we would know almost everything about the consoles by this time. Back in 2013, we had a solid idea by the end of June of what games would be launching with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. We also knew the prices of the device and had already begun making financial decisions bases on these numbers. The competition between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was already skewed because of statements made by Microsoft and the PlayStation 4 having an advantage in the pricing department right off the bat. However, all this information available to consumers to make an informed buying decision.
Now I realize with the hardcore gaming consumer they have already made up their mind in regards to which console they are picking up. Whether they are sticking to either an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5. People like myself who will scrape together every penny in order to purchase both at day one. However, the casual gaming audience can potentially switch “sides” based on what Xbox and PlayStation show. From their games, services, hardware, the price versus value, and more. A lot of these questions, unfortunately, remain unanswered at this time.
E3 Disappearing Allowed Too Much Freedom For Xbox and PlayStation
While many people before the cancellation of E3 2020 had been of the opinion that the show was antiquated and a relic from the industry’s past. Which, to be fair is true in addition the ESA had been absolutely dropping the ball with the show the past few years. However, one aspect of the show was that it forced Xbox and PlayStation to show their entire hand in one weekend. This meant that they had to lock in their launch lineup, as well as the consoles price and more details. All of this had to be revealed at E3 week because the world was watching and you needed to make the best pitch for your platform.
Fast forward to 2020, the year of every publisher and developer having their own events, streams, and reveals. It gives Sony and Xbox a ton of wiggle room as we have seen over the past few months. We have received a slow trickle of news every month from both. With the most substantial information coming from PlayStations June event, and Xbox’s July Games Showcase. PlayStation revealed the form factor of the console, as well as games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet and Clank, and more. While Xbox showcased games like Halo Infinite, Fable, Avowed, and more. While both shared and talked about the games that would be coming to the console. The timelines of these games are all over the place.
We Need Dates
The only confirmed launch games we have at this time are as follows. Xbox has Halo Infinite, Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon, and The Medium. While PlayStation has Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Deathloop, Godfall, and Astro’s Playroom currently. While these games are confirmed as launch titles, there are no launch dates for any of these games. Xbox and Sony are protecting the launch date of their consoles and launch software like the declaration of independence. I am about five minutes away from calling Nicholas Cage to fix this situation. Third-party developers have given us better ideas about what the launch date of these consoles could potentially be. With Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla both launching within two days of each other. While both of these games have Xbox related marketing deals. Assumptions can be made that the Series X could potentially launch around that week in November.
However, I really do not believe we should have to be guessing and making these kinds of assumptions this late in the game. If third party developers feel confident enough to be giving us launch dates for their games. Then why can’t Sony and Xbox provide this kind of information? Even if they are concerned about certain games not making launch date. I want to believe that most fans would be reasonable and understanding if games ended up getting pushed back due to Covid-19 and complications associated with it. While there will always be an outrage cycle on social media, there is no data that points to outrage detracting from console or game sales. Especially when it comes to social media hyperbole drummed up by influencers and YouTubers.
Stop Playing Chicken With Prices
We have been bombarded since the reveal of these consoles about what the prices could be. From the PS5 being $399 all the way to $700, while Xbox Series X has ranged from $399 all the way up to $800. While many rumors have been inflated and pulled right out of random 4chan leaks. The common consensus is that the consoles will land somewhere in the $499 range. We are once again running with speculation and rumors. This is no way to make an educated decision on your purchase of a system. It feels with the financial state of the world currently, it would important to get the price out there so people can start preparing for launch. However, I believe there is more at play in why PlayStation and Xbox don’t want to reveal their hand in terms of prices.
The biggest concern I think on both sides is one being undercut by the other. This is especially prevalent with the rumored Xbox Lockheart. That is the biggest wildcard in terms of what are the capabilities of that console and what will the price point be? This throws a wrench in PlayStation planning as being able to market the same price or cheaper console.
Sooner Rather Than Later
With a rumored second PlayStation event to be coming sometime in August. As well as Xbox heavily hinting that they have another event planned for this month. There is still hope for us to get prices sooner rather than later. This has to happen because eventually both PlayStation and Xbox will want to have pre-orders up for a few months to get an idea of where the demand for these consoles is going to be. Someone needs to go first, or else we will end up walking into Gamestop on launch day to find out the prices, or we will be handed an` envelope with the price sealed inside when you pick up your console. Jokes aside, Xbox and PlayStation can’t afford to leave their fans hanging like this for much longer.
You can already feel the temperature rising with the announcement of no big PS5 details at the August 6th State of Play. Many fans voicing that they wanted next-generation information now and that it was ridiculous how long it was taking. Expectations are through the roof, both PS5 and Xbox Series X need to deliver. PlayStation needs to attempt to hit the incredible bar they have set for themselves with the PlayStation 4. Xbox needs to prove that they are in this for the long haul, and they have the software to justify the console. Only time will tell, but both PlayStation and Xbox are running out of time.