Things are hotting up between Sony and Microsoft as each appears to be waiting for the other to be the first to announce the price and release date for their respective consoles.
While we've heard rumoured prices for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, nothing official has slipped out yet, but we're expecting both pieces of hardware to retail at around £500/ $500. When it comes to the launch dates, Microsoft has outright confirmed a November release, but Sony has been very quiet about finalising any details around the PS5.
But now industry insiders are pinpointing a PS5 release date that sees it lagging behind the Xbox Series X.
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VGC reports that Sony and Microsoft have been reluctant to put out any concrete information about the release of their consoles in case there's any further disruption caused by the pandemic. Gamer Network’s head of games B2B, Christopher Dring, told the site:
"This is why we’re waiting so long to hear about pre-orders and software line-up… companies are waiting until they can be as sure as they can about what they can deliver to consumers.
"It’s a complicated time, and you would typically place a strong bet on PS5 arriving somewhere in the middle of November. But things can change very quickly."
Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners added that in spite of the difficulties COVID-19 presented for both companies and their supply chains earlier this year, production is "ramping up and component scarcity is less of an issue than before."
Ahmad does foresee possible hurdles on the logistics front, describing it as "a barrier for both platform holders to overcome this holiday, with the impact from Covid-19 leading to long shipping times and shortages on store shelves during the launch period." Sony and Microsoft may even resort to shipping via air –a more costly option – to meet the expected demand.
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VGC's sources in development and retail have gone on to confirm the leaks and rumours about the two tech giants' planned console launch dates, with the Xbox Series X purportedly set to release in the first week of November – likely Friday, 6 – followed by the PS5 a week or two later, from November 13, which fits with the November 17 date hinted at by Fortnite.
Dring notes, “ideally, you’d want to launch before the end of November if you want to capitalise on the Christmas sales window, as getting your product out before the final payday of the year is a key move. Indeed, after Black Friday, the biggest sales day of the year for online retail tends to be Cyber Monday, which is usually the first Monday in December."
That narrows down the window significantly for both the PS and Xbox Series X, but it looks like Sony is going to get pipped to the post by Microsoft if it waits around any longer.