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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Is the market ready for a $500 console yet?


What should the PS5 & Xbox 4 cost at launch?

$500 (high specs) 45 60.81%
$450 (moderate specs) 8 10.81%
$400 (low specs) 21 28.38%

If it has the specs why not? But it will be the usual mobile cpu and midrange gpu, the thing that can jack the price up is ssd but it will most likely be some kind of cheaper hybrid drive.

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It will prob have the specs to be sold at a justifiable even higher price than 500 bucks,Sony considers taking losses on console sales so when it just turns out to be 500 its seriously decently priced for a device that lasts that long compared to 1000 euro costing phones for example.

Shadow1980 said:
SKMBlake said:

You can't compare consoles to other stuff. That's my main point. Of course inflation matters. But it's irrevelant when it comes to consoles and general gaming.

Consoles have almost one and only purpose, which is gaming, and peoples doesn't want to spend more than 400$ just for gaming, because the games are already expensive enough (+game as a service stuffs). If the minimum you can get is 500$ + 60$ for one and only (AAA) game, that's way too much.

Remember, it's only for gaming. Not other purposes. You can access Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video and stuff on other devices almost everyone own.

Why AAA games doesn't cost 80-100$ then ? Because publishers know people won't buy it

That's special pleading: Citing something as an exception to a generally excepted rule without justifying the exception.

If it were irrelevant to consoles, then nobody would have bought a PS4. The $400 sticker price isn't anything new:

But as I've stated on multiple occasions on this thread, $400 is reasonable today, but was outrageous 25-30 years ago, because inflation has gradually reduced the value of a dollar. Nintendo and Sega wouldn't have even attempted to sell their 8-bit or 16-bit systems for $300, much less $400 (that $200 launch price for the SNES is $372 in current dollars). By 2000, though, $300 was perfectly reasonable, and by 2013 $400 was affordable.

We can easily see that the $400 Saturn and especially $400 Neo-Geo actually cost a lot more than the $500 Xbox One X when adjusted for inflation. In fact, the One X is only marginally more expensive than the PS1 was at launch, the same as the 20GB 360 was. Meanwhile, the PS4's launch price makes it the least expensive PlayStation system ever at launch, and right at around the long term adjusted average for all consoles from the Big Four.

If inflation were really irrelevant for consoles, then $400 now would be just as unreasonable now as it would have been 20-30 years ago. Clearly it is no longer a deal-breaker. Consumers are still very cognizant of the declining value of a dollar over time. That applies just as much for consoles as it does for any other consumer electronic item or other good. A reasonable sticker price for anything today would have been considered too high when my parents were my age, and obscene when my grandparents were my age. And even in the shorter term, people notice.

Now, let's assume inflation remains relatively constant, with a net change of 3% from now to Nov. 2020. Let's further assume that the PS5 costs $450 and the rumored high-end "Scarlet" model of the Xbox 4 costs $500. This is what the price chart would look like (sans Neo-Geo):

A $450 launch price for next-gen consoles would be right on par with the adjusted prices of the PS4, PS2, and OXbox, and only $67/17.5% more expensive than the SNES. $500 would be only $50 more than that. Even $500 would be imminently reasonable for a non-Nintendo console. And the price will go down over time! By the 2022 holiday season, we ought to see standard prices no more than $400, and we'll see the usual big Black Friday deals that would knock $50-100 off the price. Within two years, consumers will be able to buy a PS5 or Xbox 4 for less than $400.

As for software, games did used to have sticker prices of $70 on occasion back in the 90s. The various versions of Street Fighter II and many JRPGs had that price point. And when you adjust for inflation, even the more common price points that where in the $50-60 range would be $80-100 or more now:

Software has gotten a lot cheaper, despite the growing costs of development. Even if you ignore the higher costs of cartridges, we can see that disc-based games have gotten cheaper. While none are on the chart, Sega CD and TurboGrafx-CD games retailed for $50-60 in 1993 ($88-106 in current dollars), thus putting them on par with the cartridge-based titles of the time. PS1 and Dreamcast games have adjusted prices well north of $70. Even $50 PS2, Xbox, GameCube, and earlier Wii games are more expensive than $60 games now. But instead of a price hike to $70, we've seen increasingly aggressive monetization schemes in games, where DLC has mutated from substantial chunks of content to modern microtransactions.

Oh, and you don't have to buy games at the full $60, either. You can go on Amazon right now and buy some of the biggest hits of 2018 for less than $40 already, in new condition. If you're willing to wait, most games go down in price quite a bit. It typically took a lot longer to see declines that sharp back when I was a kid, and even the reduced prices were still comparable to a brand new title today. Even by 1993, when the NES was already well on the way out, Nintendo's budget "Classic Series" line of games were not significantly cheaper than current games. In the spring of 1993, the original Metroid was still going for $30, which is about $53 adjusted.

Buying games is quite simply a lot easier on the wallet than it used to be. The laws of economics have quite honestly spoiled us rotten. And while it doesn't excuse what many AAA publishers have done in regards to monetization in recent years, it does explain it.

SNES only $200 at launch???

I can still remember looking for a console, and choose the NES because the SNES was 23000 LUF/BEF (Luxembourg and Belgium shared their currency since the 1920's), which does equate to over 450€, before any inflation is taken into account (The NES was 6500 LUF back then, basically 160€). Good games generally sold for over 3000 LUF, so 75-90€ back then. Hence why during the 90's, I became mostly a PC gamer.

Of course, if the american consumers are used to such much lower prices, then 500$ comes of as extremely expensive. But apart from maybe the NES and Master System  (too young to remember or check the prices back then), I don't think any console here was ever sold for less then 15000 LUF/~400€ at launch here before the advent of the Euro.

SKMBlake said:
I did justify the reason at least 3 times, you don't wanna read it, fine, but that's not my fault.
Your only argument is "inflation" and nothing else.

And your only argument is "inflation doesn't matter for console gaming" without any proof and ignoring every counterargument.

SKMBlake said:
I did justify the reason at least 3 times, you don't wanna read it, fine, but that's not my fault.
Your only argument is "inflation" and nothing else. Well, guess what, people don't give a bread about how consoles cost 20 years ago. Parents won't buy a 500$ device for their kids which only does gaming (which they already consider to be bad for kids anyway).

But yeah, go to every wallmart you can see when the 500$-Nex gen consoles are released and show them your charts, I'm sure they will convince them

You haven't provided any evidence. What proof is there showing that consumers will never spend more than $400 on a console? That would be justifying your claimed exception to the rule that inflation matters. Simply asserting something doesn't make it true. But all you've done is assert that $400 is the absolute upper limit for the sticker price of a console, and that going any higher will be a deal-breaker. Do you think that people still won't pay more than $400 ten years from now? 20 years? What evidence is there that $400 is that cut-off point, that psychological barrier that makes people go "No way!" no matter what the value of a dollar is now or will be in the future? What evidence is there that consumers uniquely place that arbitrary monetary ceiling to video game consoles and not other consumer electronics or other goods? Again, I want concrete data, not mere assertions. "Because consoles are designed primarily for playing games" is an assertion. Prove that it matters, with real data.

In short, you think inflation uniquely doesn't matter to consoles anymore? Prove it.

I already provided evidence that the upper limit of what consumers would find acceptable for a console at launch is a moving target. 25-30 years ago $400 was prohibitively expensive, as demonstrated by the Neo-Geo and Saturn. Now it is not. $200 used to be the norm for launch prices. Now it is not. The realities of economics involve the ever-declining value of a dollar. 20 years from now $400 will be dirt cheap (about $244 in 2019 dollars, assuming 2% annual inflation), and there's no reason to think that it no longer matters when it comes to video games when it clearly mattered in the past. I also pointed out that consoles do get price cuts throughout their lives.

I provided my evidence. The numbers are there for all to see. What do you have to support your case?

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 20 April 2019


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

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You didn't prove anything, you just put some charts trying to prove your point. People don't care about charts, they just don't want to spend that much amount of money on a gaming console. 500/600$ PS3 and 500$ Xbox One already proved there is a symbolic pricing ceiling.

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SKMBlake said:
500/600$ PS3 and 500$ Xbox One already proved there is a symbolic pricing ceiling.

No, they didn't prove anything for 2020.

The only thing the PS3 proved in 2006/2007 was that the PlayStation brand and exclusives and the PS4 advantages (f.e. Blu-ray drive) were strong enough arguments for many people to justify a 50% higher price tag compared to the (at that point even better performing) Xbox 360.

The only thing the Xbox One proved in 2013/2014 was that the Xbox brand and Kinect 2.0 weren't strong enough arguments for many people to justify a 25% higher price tag compared to the (to this day better performing) PS4 with a lot more exclusives.

That's it.

Movie tickets have more than doubled since 1995. Has the number of sold movie tickets halved since then because "entertainment dollars aren't affected by inflation"? No, they have gone slightly down in the last years, but are still above the 1995 numbers:

Even though there are less and less reasons to go to the cinema with much improved and affordable home cinema/entertainment solutions in the last decade: bigger TV screens, 4K TVs, sound bars, Netflix, 4K streaming, very popular TV shows which are better than most new movies...

Last edited by Conina - on 20 April 2019

Oh gosh, stop comparing to other things and show inflation-related charts, that's all you do

"Quagmire, are you the type of guy who takes 'no' for an answer ?"
"My lawyer doesn't allow me to answer that question"

PSN ID: skmblake | Feel free to add me

Let's not forget that consoles have become significantly more expensive than the buying price when you consider the online access costs, which is mostly just a price hike.
Assuming the PS5 will launch end 2020, most people who bought PS4 at launch will have paid >800 dollars for their PS4.
This price hike will give Sony/MS some extra wiggle room to set a competitive launch price.

SKMBlake said:
Oh gosh, stop comparing to other things and show inflation-related charts, that's all you do

Oh gosh, stop ignoring the fact that inflation also affects the entertainment sector (which obviously includes console gaming) to defend your weak and unproven argument.