Brutal Console War Set To Drive Traffic Microsoft Xbox Series X Tipped To Be Cheaper
A brutal gaming console war is in the making and it could be a game changer for CE retailers such as JB Hi Fi, EB Games, The Good Guys and those who have been chosen to range the new X Box Series X and the Sony Playstation 5.
One of the big issues is when will either console be launched and what will the price be, another issue will be stock and availability.
Retailers believe that these two products could be one of the biggest drivers of traffic into stores or online in the weeks before the holiday period which could be redundant this year because of recent COVID-19 hibernation and restrictions on travel.
ChannelNews understands that Sony is having trouble keeping the PlayStation 5’s price down, and now some industry veterans think they’ve figured out Microsoft’s strategy which could centre on a cheap console aimed at driving software and accessory sales.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter and former EA and Microsoft executive Peter Moore recently talked about console launch strategy with particular emphasis on how much the hardware will cost.
Overnight Microsoft said that its next-gen Xbox Series X will be delivered on time, however, insiders claim that game development could be delayed by problems with international travel and lockdown measures forcing many to work from home.
Neither Microsoft nor Sony have talked about pricing, but numerous reports claim that Sony’s cost to manufacture the PS5 is much higher than previous consoles another issue is whether both big console brands will face new production problems running into Christmas.
Observers believe that Microsoft will undercut Sony by as much as $100. A $400 price tag would make the Xbox Series X a much more attractive purchase which is why retailers are set to take a risk on the Microsoft product.
Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will rely on an eight-core, 16-thread AMD processor and an RDNA 2 GPU.
Sony’s implementation is a bit different with support for flexible clock speeds and Adaptive Voltage and Frequency Scaling that sends unused power from the CPU to GPU. It also has a faster custom storage platform. Sony is reportedly looking at around US$470 to manufacture each console, so much that it has allegedly opted to scale back the number of units it plans to manufacture for launch.
Sony has also opted to use new branding for their games, PlayStation Studios will replace the previously used name of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios.
To commemorate the new branding, Sony released a 17-second opening animation that will appear after booting up its internally developed titles.
Several critically acclaimed Sony franchises pop up during the opening including God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, LittleBigPlanet, Ratchet and Clank, The Last of Us, and Uncharted.
The new branding also includes titles by third-party developers that Sony produces and publishes.
The PlayStation Studios branding will be ready for the launch of the PS5 later this year, though some high-profile releases, The Last of Us: Part II, Ghosts of Tsushima, and Horizon Zero Dawn on PC, will still carry the older Sony Interactive Entertainment branding
Sony’s PlayStation 5, like the upcoming Xbox Series X, will also have a solid-state hard drive that will help drastically reduce load times.
The console will also have 16GB of RAM which will aid the promised super-fast loading times in game play.
In a recent demo, Sony showed off how new hardware can load games like Spiderman in one second compared to the eight seconds previously needed by the PlayStation 4.
Additionally, system architect Mark Cerny showed that the console could load a gigabyte of data in one second as opposed to the PlayStation 4, which took 20 seconds.
The system will also come with expandable storage in the form of USB as opposed to the Series X which will be able to pile on 1 terabyte expansion cards.