SONY could be about to slash console prices as we reach the end of the current console generation. Here’s what you need to know.
We’re nearing the end of the Xbox One and PS4 generation – but that could mean good news for consumers.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett will soon be the consoles at the forefront of the news cycles, but as we edge closer to next-gen tech announcements, there’s a belief in some parts of the industry that we’ll be seeing significant discounts on current-gen hardware.
Industry analyst Michael Pachter has noted that he’s expecting to see a price cut on all current-gen consoles over the next year.
“Sony can probably cut the price, Microsoft probably will cut the price,” he told Gamingbolt in an interview.
“You’ll probably get a $199 Xbox and a $249 PlayStation, and a $199 Switch that’s handheld only, and that’ll probably be enough to drive unit demand to keep it constant year-over-year.”
This might be good news for players as we see games get more and more expensive as we move to a more digital-centered generation in the future.
As the games industry in the UK celebrates being worth more than the music and film industry combined, we’re starting to see how the landscape in console gaming is going to change as we enter the next generation.
The Entertainment Retailers Agency announced that the gaming industry is worth a massive £3.86bn ($4.85bn) – more than double its value in 2007.
And thanks to the adoption of digital distribution, which many industry analysts and notable personalities in the gaming scene are expecting to rise in the coming year, we could see prices for you – the end user – start to rise.
Why do we say that? Well, last year saw a whopping 80% of all sales come from digital platforms.
That means the amount of revenue earned from players downloading games has increased by an impressive 12.5% year-on-year, whilst physical retail sales have slumped by 2.8% (making for a 9.1% rise in games revenue overall).
This uptick in digital sales is unlikely to halt in 2019, either. Mat Piscatella, an analyst for The NPD Group, predicted in an article over on GamesIndustry.biz that spending on digital content to may account for 90% of total content spending over the coming year.
“According to The NPD Group’s Games Market Dynamics report, by the end of Q3 86% of gaming content was sold digitally across Console, Portable, PC and Mobile,” he told the site.
“Digital growth should force more share to shift, although I do expect physical will continue to not be cannibalized by this digital growth.”
What that could mean for gamers, in the short term, is more expensive new products.
Think about new games releases on the Xbox Store or on PSN: you’ll note that brand new releases are always on the highest band of prices you’ll see at launch. Take Red Dead Redemption 2 – arguably the biggest game of last year.
You can read more about this trend of digital games and the expense they incur here.