PS5 and Xbox Series X games pricing unclear as Take-Two hedges price jump

(Image credit: 2K Games)

The price of PS5 and Xbox Series X games has been a source of contention in recent weeks, and it’s even less clear than ever what gamers are going to be paying on average during the next console generation.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick confirmed in an earnings call that not all PS5 and Xbox Series X games would see a price bump up to $70 in the US (and likely £70 in the UK), but that some of them would, with no clarity on the criteria for the disparity (via DualShockers).

“We’re definitely announcing pricing on a title by title basis,” said Zelnick.

The news comes several weeks after Take-Two initially announced the price bump, though we know it won’t be applied across the board by similar publishers. Ubisoft has clarified that all of its next-gen games releasing in 2020 would cost the same as its current-gen titles. For Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Gods and Monsters, then, we know what to expect.

Given that gamers are already paying $60 / £60 / AU$100 for new PS4 and Xbox One games, the price jump naturally wasn’t welcomed warmly. There is an uneasy balance to get between being able to fund ever more ambitious games, and the ability of everyday gamers to pay for them.

Zelnick added that “there hasn’t been a frontline price increase for a very long time, although costs have increased significantly.”

Cost analysis

It’s comforting to know that not every next-gen game will retail at the increased figure, but gamers are still waiting on any sort of clarity as to the price for the next-gen consoles, accessories, and (naturally) their games.

Rumors are circulating of a pricing reveal in August, which seems likely given how close we’re getting to the late 2020 release window. Retailers will be looking to start logging preorders to give a sense of demand, and so far Sony and Microsoft have been playing chicken to see who drops their pricing first – as neither will want to be massively undercut by the other.

What Sony, Microsoft, and Take-Two all need to remember is that gamers are also often parents, cash-strapped kids, or undecided spenders – and clear pricing information is going to be necessary to help many would-be PS5 or Xbox Series X gamers budget for the upcoming expense, or decide whether they want to at all.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.