Opinion: Next generation consoles will be expensive – please build your bridge now

Gamers are a bunch of crybabies. We all throw our toys for just about anything. The file size is too big *crying ensues*. Why don’t we have local servers?! *boycotts and spites him or herself*. I hate X game focussing only on multiplayer – don’t buy it then, dammit! Oh man, all the bitching and moaning is enough to drive any person down the path of no return. However, there aren’t many things that get to me as revved up as people complaining about the cost of a console at launch. When I hear or read it, I feel like hurting that person. Do you want to see me explode? Be sure to bitch about that at the next generation launch. Hint – it’s not going to be cheap, as always.

The problem stems from one crowd in particular – the mainstream buyers. Most these people can only afford a next-generation console a few years after launch. So, what happens is that they pick up their “PS4 for R4500” midway into the generation, become more of a regular gamer and get hooked on this industry we all so love. When the next generation pops up with its launch price (two or three years after they bought the console), they lose their minds. ‘I PAID R4500 FOR THE PS4! HOW ON EARTH CAN IT BE R9,999 FOR THE PS5?!’ Oh yes, wait for it, it’s going to happen. It happened in the PS2, PS3 and PS4 era. Oh my God, these morons drive me up the f$&king wall. I need to calm down, I’m working myself up just at the thought of the idiotic behaviour I’m going to have to deal with in the next generation at launch. I use the PlayStation era as it’s just something South African’s seem to relate to better (I mean, what is Xbox and Nintendo anyway? Alright, I’m done with my cheap jab).

Be prepared for many rumours throughout next year involving the two consoles, as they get into the hands of developers. What I can tell you now, without knowing much, is that the PS5 and Xbox Two(?) are not going to be cheap. You just need to look at the recent cost increases for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X to realise that it’s going to be very expensive. I do think distributors are going to try their damnedest to keep the cost to R9,999, because it’s just the way sales work – move it over that magic R10K mark and it’s a mental block for most. I mean, I know I’m okay paying R999 versus R1,099 for a game (though I would really prefer the golden era of R699 or less). Depending on bundles we might see that cost exceeding anything in our wildest dreams. The PS4 Pro is now going for R7,499 and the Xbox One X for R8,999 and comes with one game. In general, I normally take the cost of a current gen and add R1500-R2500 to the price for the next generation, to give me a hint of what I expect it to be with inflation and due to the fact that it’s shiny new tech. Our Rand is definitely not helping the cause.

So, to help those new to the industry, who might just have recently bought a console, here is the launch price for the various consoles that I can recall. It might be a few Rand give or take, depending on the deal at the time, but this is generally what it set you back. The PS4 had a surprisingly cheap cost, matching the previous generation, but I’m not so sure it’s going to last.

PS1: R2,499

PS2: R4.199

PS3: R6.299

PS4: R6.299

Xbox 360: R3.699 (Premium), R2.699 (Core)

Xbox One: R7,499

R9,999 for the next generation? I think it’s highly likely. Something that has changed in this particular generation is the cost of consoles going up in price, instead of dropping. That is purely due to the Rand destroying the industry at each turn. The standard consoles have still dropped drastically, but it’s not the case for the beefed-up versions. It’s, even more, a reason why the next generation of consoles will be very expensive. We have no idea when the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles will be launching, but I personally think we’ll be seeing it at the end of 2020 or early 2021. That gives you more than enough time to save some money. Never forget though, no matter if the console launch exceeds R10,000 – there is tech way more expensive than consoles on the market, and people are fine with that. So, time to stop complaining and plan ahead. Remember, early adopters fund cheaper consoles for those who only get in on it later. It’s just how it’s always worked. Also, please don’t lose your mind when the costs are officially announced – you might just give me a damn heart attack.

P.S.: While I’m at it – the day the PS5 or new Xbox console launches it automatically becomes ‘current gen’ and PS4 / Xbox One turns into last generation. Glad we cleared that up now.

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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