If all goes as expected, many of us will be in possession of fifth-generation PlayStation console by the end of this year. Sony doses information about its latest hardware very sparingly (seconded by its rival Microsoft – little more is known about the new Xbox), although some cards have already been revealed. We know what the console will look like, what computing power it will offer and what features it will have. We also learned some of the titles we will play on it in the first months and years of its presence on the market.
According to analysts, PlayStation will once again win the battle against Xbox, winning more gamers that the latter. Sony will enter the competition from a dominant position – it is easier to maintain the pole position than to gain lead by starting from second place. Still, some issues related to the PlayStation 5 may be concerning.
Price of games
A dozen years ago, with the debut of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, the price of high-budget games was arbitrarily set at about $60 in the United States and about €60 in Europe. Since then, development costs have increased significantly, while prices have held up. Developers have tried to circumvent this in a variety of ways, whether through microtransactions, season passes or lootboxes – but the $60 barrier itself has remained intact. Meanwhile, every year there has been increasing talk that it will eventually have to be broken... and we are currently witnessing attempts to break it.
The first to step forward was Take Two Interactive. NBA 2k21, the latest installment of the popular basketball simulators series, will cost $ 69.99/ € 69.99 on next-gen consoles – one-sixth more than we've been used to for the last dozen or so years. Editions for older hardware maintain the standard price. The news of the increase caused quite a storm and caused the developer to announce after some time that for each subsequent title the decision concerning price will be made on case-by-case basis. Ubisoft, on the other hand, has officially stated that it intends to stick to the old price... at least until the end of the year. Other companies, such as Capcom, when asked about a possible increase in game prices said that decisions had not yet been made and would be made based on market conditions.
So the situation is that an increase in prices for large games to around 70 dollars / 70 euros is quite real and is considered by most developers. But they are approaching the issue very carefully, knowing that the players aren't exactly thrilled by the idea. After NBA 2k21, there are likely to be several other more expensive titles and their results will be what decides the future of prices. If they sell well despite the increases, we will have to prepare for higher prices to become the new standard. All the more painful for those who opt for a console version without drive and thus lose access to the second-hand market.