After much speculation, we finally have the launch prices for the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. The Xbox Series X, which was announced much earlier than the Playstation 5, will cost you $499.99/£449, with the no-disc, digital version coming in at $299.99/£249. There are some major technical differences between the two, but when looking at the overall specs, they are still very powerful consoles. On September 16th, Sony held their official PS5 showcase that would present some of their exclusives along with the reveal of the actual price of the system.
After a successful showcase that generally pleased the fans, Sony announced two versions of the Playstation 5, much like Microsoft’s model. The Playstation 5 launches at $499.99/£449, with a discless, digital-only version priced at $399.99/£359. The trolls and bottom dwellers of Twitter immediately picked up their phones to send in a barrage of memes towards Xbox fans. “Playstation won next-generation,” came up quite a bit in my extensive time on Twitter after the showcase. I never truly understood the hostility that came along with the console wars, and I definitely wouldn’t buy into it now considering the sheer technical prowess of both next-gen consoles.
As Microsoft stood quiet, gamers were surprised to hear that PS5 pre-orders would open the next day. Previously, there had been several reports surfacing concerning the pre-order structure of the PS5. Sony claimed that the pre-order drop would not be a surprise, so that consumers had plenty of time to prepare and save up. In hindsight, this is pretty misleading considering Sony announced pre-orders one day before they were intended to drop. As the hours passed since the Sony showcase, reports of select retailers dropping pre-orders that same night surfaced without actually naming any of those retailers. As you could imagine, people were not happy. Walmart, Target, Best Buy and a few UK retailers silently launched their pre-orders, selling out within minutes. Those who had already entered in their credit card information were cheated out of a system when the retailer’s website crashed. Those lucky enough to snag one early on were humble enough to purchase three other copies on other sites so that they could earn an even greater turnaround profit on Ebay. To make matters worse, Sony announced that those who signed up on their site for “early access” pre-orders should keep an eye out on their emails for a chance to snag a copy. I noticed countless complaints via Twitter coming from people who had proved their dedication to Sony, yet still had not received an email.
Some argued that the select retailers offering pre-orders were unreliable, and that they would patiently wait for Amazon to open up their pre-order launch. Personally, I had a horrible experience with Best Buy and how they handled my Halo: Reach Legendary Edition pre-order. The day before its release, Best Buy alerted me that my pre-order was cancelled. Expert service and unbeatable prices, am I right, Best Buy? Hours later, Amazon opened up their pre-orders, but history has a way of repeating itself. Within a matter of minutes, they were sold out indefinitely. Frustrating, unintuitive, misleading and anti consumer-friendly are a few words littered among expletives and petty threats on social media.
Though some of you might have to wait until after launch to snag a PS5, Xbox took advantage of this mess to offer fans an exact date and time to pre-order the Series X/S. In the US, pre-orders open at 11am ET/8am PT on September 22 at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Gamestop, NewEgg, and Army and Airforce Exchange Service. For the UK, it’ll start at 8am BST at the Microsoft Store, GAME, Amazon, Dixons, Currys PC World, Argos, John Lewis, Smyth’s Toys, and “other participating retailers.”.
Microsoft handled their pre-order structure much more efficiently, but it’s tough to say if this will be the reason some people switch consoles. Both have an impressive lineup of titles coming in the near future, but it’s quite evident that Xbox took home the W today for their smooth pre-order announcements.
The Xbox Series X/S launches on November 10th, with the Playstation 5 two days later on November 12th in the US and then November 19th in the UK.