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https://www.windowscentral.com/god-war-senior-staff-environment-artist-joins-microsofts-initiative-studio

Next hiring for the Initiative!
Former God of War developer joins Microsoft.



Imagine not having GamePass on your console...

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shikamaru317 said:

I personally just can’t see $600 happening. MS and Sony know that gamers are highly resistant to price increases, it’s why the price of AAA games has stayed at $60 for like 15 years, when everything else from food to movies to utilities has gone up by 30%+ in that same time frame, publishers know that they would face extreme backlash if they increased to $70 or $80. The vast majority of console gamers will not spend $600 on a console, even $500 is too much for most of them.

Games have been more expensive than $60 before. I'm not talking about adjusting for inflation, they've been literally $70 or more back with the N64 and other cartridge systems. And they haven't sold particularly less games than the competition back in the day. You can apply the same logic today for Nintendo never selling their games below $60, ever. Maybe a Sekiro or a Control wouldn't sell for $80, but the next GTA, the next Elder Scrolls, even the next Last of Us or Horizon game? I'm sure they would.

Do remember that, yes, $599 led to a backlash against the PS3, but so did $399 for the Saturn at one point and now that's an usual price for consoles, and even at the lower range of what we expect next generation consoles to be. I don't think console gamers are as poor as you depict them to be when 1) PC gaming is at the hundreds of millions of players with higher entry prices and 2) they do spend this much money yearly with games nowadays.



 

 

 

 

 

haxxiy said:
shikamaru317 said:

I personally just can’t see $600 happening. MS and Sony know that gamers are highly resistant to price increases, it’s why the price of AAA games has stayed at $60 for like 15 years, when everything else from food to movies to utilities has gone up by 30%+ in that same time frame, publishers know that they would face extreme backlash if they increased to $70 or $80. The vast majority of console gamers will not spend $600 on a console, even $500 is too much for most of them.

Games have been more expensive than $60 before. I'm not talking about adjusting for inflation, they've been literally $70 or more back with the N64 and other cartridge systems. And they haven't sold particularly less games than the competition back in the day. You can apply the same logic today for Nintendo never selling their games below $60, ever. Maybe a Sekiro or a Control wouldn't sell for $80, but the next GTA, the next Elder Scrolls, even the next Last of Us or Horizon game? I'm sure they would.

Do remember that, yes, $599 led to a backlash against the PS3, but so did $399 for the Saturn at one point and now that's an usual price for consoles, and even at the lower range of what we expect next generation consoles to be. I don't think console gamers are as poor as you depict them to be when 1) PC gaming is at the hundreds of millions of players with higher entry prices and 2) they do spend this much money yearly with games nowadays.

The prices were sometimes higher back then due to how expensive the cartridges were. Many people don't realize just how expensive those carts were to make. Big games back in those days could have budgets as high as $300m, higher than GTA V's massive $265m budget 20 years later, but like 8/10ths of the budget back then was the cost of manufacturing the cartridges, cases, and manuals, with the other 2/10ths going to development and marketing budget. By comparison, GTA V's manufacturing budget for the launch shipment was estimated at just $7m of it's $265m budget. My point is that AAA game cost has stayed at $60 for the last 15 or so years, without suffering from the inflation seen in just about every other product, because the publishers know they would face extreme backlash for a price increase. Instead publishers rely on things like microtransactions and deluxe/gold editions to cover the cost of inflation, charging those who are willing to pay more while avoiding the ire of those who aren't willing to pay more than $60 for a game. Likewise Sony and MS know that they would face extreme backlash for a console price increase next gen. Phil Spencer said that Microsoft understands what gamers consider to be a reasonable price for a console and suggested that they wouldn't go above that price on Series X. 

PC and console gamers are two entirely different demographics. Besides, the vast majority of those hundreds of millions of PC gamers worldwide are on low-end systems with integrated graphics, playing games on the laptops and such that they already own for work or school. Even in the west the most popular graphics cards are low-mid range. Most PC gamers aren't spending $1000+ on their systems and then spending $500+ on upgrades every few years, and though there are those that do, they are an extreme minority. Are there core console gamers who would spend $600 or more on a console? Sure, but they are an extreme  minority, that is not a mass market friendly price for a console. MS or Sony might sell 4m consoles within a few months of launch at $600, but after that sales would fall off a cliff until the first price cut. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 29 December 2019

shikamaru317 said:
haxxiy said:

To be fair, even at $499, such a hypothetical PS5 with a 300mm2 7nm APU and NVMe SSD is likely still going to be subsidized to some extent, and Phil's comments in an Eurogamer interview talking about "not sacrificing performance for price" and learning the lesson of "not releasing the weaker console for $100 more" - notice the specific choice of words - does make me believe we're going to see a more expensive launch price for the Series X than the competition.

Of course, Prisoner's dilemma is a thing, and it's not impossible that MS kickstarts a price war even though it would be in their best interests that both the PS5 and the Series X remain at $499 and $599 respectively, and not $399 and $499 with heavier losses.

I don't think that subsidizing hardware hurts that much in the grand scheme of things. PS3 was selling at like a $200+ loss early gen, but they still made a profit on the gen overall. MS/Sony can make back anything they lose by subsidizing hardware with accessory and game sales. Controllers cost like $20 or less to manufacture, yet they sell them for $60, play and charge kits cost like $10 to make, but they sell them for $25, etc. Console digital sales continue to increase and MS/Sony get a cut on the sale of all 3rd party digital games on their system, not to mention the full value on their 1st party digital games. MS could easily afford a $100 subsidy early gen; so if XSX costs $600 to manufacture and ship, sell it for $500. Even a $150 subsidy should be within the realm of possibility for them.

I think that going above $500 for either PS5 or XSX would be a mistake, and I think that MS allowing anything more than a $50 price gap between PS5 and XSX would be a mistake when XSX is only about 20% more powerful yet has a slower SSD according to leaks.  

Given the current situation no matter how much more powerful Series X would be than PS5, MS can't afford to sell it at higher price. Even 50$ price gap would be a huge mistake.

haxxiy said:
shikamaru317 said:

I personally just can’t see $600 happening. MS and Sony know that gamers are highly resistant to price increases, it’s why the price of AAA games has stayed at $60 for like 15 years, when everything else from food to movies to utilities has gone up by 30%+ in that same time frame, publishers know that they would face extreme backlash if they increased to $70 or $80. The vast majority of console gamers will not spend $600 on a console, even $500 is too much for most of them.

Games have been more expensive than $60 before. I'm not talking about adjusting for inflation, they've been literally $70 or more back with the N64 and other cartridge systems. And they haven't sold particularly less games than the competition back in the day. You can apply the same logic today for Nintendo never selling their games below $60, ever. Maybe a Sekiro or a Control wouldn't sell for $80, but the next GTA, the next Elder Scrolls, even the next Last of Us or Horizon game? I'm sure they would.

Do remember that, yes, $599 led to a backlash against the PS3, but so did $399 for the Saturn at one point and now that's an usual price for consoles, and even at the lower range of what we expect next generation consoles to be. I don't think console gamers are as poor as you depict them to be when 1) PC gaming is at the hundreds of millions of players with higher entry prices and 2) they do spend this much money yearly with games nowadays.

The majority of PC crowd is playing on rigs under 1000$ and only buy games when they are on huge discounts. Like $10 for AAA game.



 

I think consoles would also sell for a higher price but only if MS and Sony would ask for $599 bucks and not only one of both. The PS3 had to compete against the 360 with a lower price and for many people, it offered pretty much the same to not care about the PS3. And the PS3 still sold well while having more problems than the price. Worse online structure, worse multi platform games and so on).

If PS5 and Series X would be $599 and there wouldn't be a lower priced Xbox, we would see really good sales numbers. I really doubt this magical "a gamer will never pay more than 500 bucks for a console while paying 600 isn't harder for him nowadays than 500 some years ago" now. 

It makes no sense that a gamer is a different kind of human who doesn't accept higher prices while everyone else on this planet accepts it for everything else as long as he also earns more. 

And I know that some other stuff even decreased in prices the last 20 years or so (TVs) but that's the industries itself who decided this direction since they could go down and went for lower prices to convince people to replace it faster which in the end still means higher spendings I guess. 

Last edited by crissindahouse - on 29 December 2019

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MS is going to give you the option to buy the Series X on an installment plan, like companies do with phones, and yes, it's going to be a $600 console.



Angelus said:
MS is going to give you the option to buy the Series X on an installment plan, like companies do with phones, and yes, it's going to be a $600 console.

They technically already do that.

https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-all-access?&OCID=AID2000034_SEM_SLoxQPmw



When the herd loses its way, the shepard must kill the bull that leads them astray.

Angelus said:
MS is going to give you the option to buy the Series X on an installment plan, like companies do with phones, and yes, it's going to be a $600 console.

Installment plan is only available in the US and maybe a couple other countries which doesn't make the strategy based around it that great. $600 is a lot for a console. So, I hope to be surprised when the pricing is announced but I'm also starting to fear that Series X is indeed $600 especially considering that MS has Lockheart SKU for next gen as an entry device.



 

Ultimately I can only speak for myself, but $600 is a big no-no for me. $500 is as much as I'll pay for a console, and even $500 isn't ideal for me. I bought XB1 for$500 on release and regretted it later, especially considering MS was selling it for $450 with a copy of Titanfall just a few months later. I'll choose to trust in Phil when he said that they understand what a reasonable price for a console is. 



crissindahouse said:

I think consoles would also sell for a higher price but only if MS and Sony would ask for $599 bucks and not only one of both. The PS3 had to compete against the 360 with a lower price and for many people, it offered pretty much the same to not care about the PS3. And the PS3 still sold well while having more problems than the price. Worse online structure, worse multi platform games and so on).

If PS5 and Series X would be $599 and there wouldn't be a lower priced Xbox, we would see really good sales numbers. I really doubt this magical "a gamer will never pay more than 500 bucks for a console while paying 600 isn't harder for him nowadays than 500 some years ago" now. 

It makes no sense that a gamer is a different kind of human who doesn't accept higher prices while everyone else on this planet accepts it for everything else as long as he also earns more. 

And I know that some other stuff even decreased in prices the last 20 years or so (TVs) but that's the industries itself who decided this direction since they could go down and went for lower prices to convince people to replace it faster which in the end still means higher spendings I guess. 

If they launch at $600 I expect a larger than normal drop in post launch sales.  I could see the consoles trailing the Ps4 and XBO.