The PS5 and Xbox Series X prices have yet to be revealed, with fans hoping that we'll finally get confirmation before the end of the month so that they can start putting money aside for their next-gen consoles. We've heard rumours about a £500 price tag for both pieces of hardware, but we've had nothing official.
As we're gearing up for the next-gen launch, games are being announced that will release on both the new consoles as well as the current-gen PS4 and Xbox One, and while some publishers are offering free upgrades – as is the case with Cyberpunk 2077 – others are seemingly using the opportunity to sneak in a next-gen price hike to set a new pricing standard for games going forward.
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Veteran games journalist, Jason Schreier, has commented on the new Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War pricing structure that offers a Standard Edition (£59.99/ $59.99) which is the PS4 and Xbox One version of the game that's also playable on PS5 and Xbox One consoles thanks to their backwards compatibility; a Cross-Gen Bundle (£64.99/ $69.99) that includes both current and next-gen versions of the game; and the Ultimate Edition (£89.99/ $89.99) which matches the Cross-Gen Bundle, but throws in the Season 1 Battle Pass, and Land, Sea and Air Pack on top of that.
Basically, there's no option to buy an edition that's just for the PS5 or Xbox Series X, so gamers are being forced to spend extra money on PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game that they may not even want or need, simply to get the next-gen version of the title.
Schreier tweets (opens in new tab) that the idea of cross-gen bundles "seems like a way of gradually steering customers to accept $70 as the norm for next-gen games."
"Cross-gen bundle" seems like a way of gradually steering customers to accept $70 as the norm for next-gen games https://t.co/QEtmP0zIf6August 26, 2020
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This does seem to be the case, which we've seen with other titles that will be coming to both console generations. EA introduced a similarly confusing pricing structure with NBA 2K21 which at least offers PS5 and Xbox Series X editions on their own, but has bumped up the price to $69.99/ £64.99 compared to the PS4 and Xbox One's $$60/ £60 price tag. If you want both versions of that game, you'll be forking out $99.99/ £84.99 for the Mamba Forever Edition.
There seems to be no general consensus when it comes to next-gen games' prices, and we're seeing the entire spectrum on offer from different publishers, from the same price as current-gen, to bumping up the price which may or may not include additional versions of the game.
That being said, the last time the standard price of games got a bump was back in the PS3/ Xbox 360 era, so maybe we're due for an increase if it can be justified by development costs, inflation, etc.
As we get closer to the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch, we're going to start to see more next-gen games announced, but unless everyone gets on board with a new standard, it's going to get mighty messy.