Microsoft's Xbox Series S will definitely be the next-gen console to beat when it comes to sheer affordability, but it turns out that Sony was considering a similar lower-spec alternative to the PS5 – but feared it would be too "problematic'
Speaking to Japanese site AV Watch (opens in new tab) (translated by VGC (opens in new tab)), PlayStation boss Jim Ryan explained that the company had considered a "low priced, reduced spec" version of the PlayStation 5 but, based on its research, found that these types of consoles hadn't been particularly successful.
"One thing that can be said is that if you look at the history of the game business, creating a special low priced, reduced spec console is something that has not had great results in the past," Ryan told AV Watch. "We’ve considered that option and seen other executives who have attempted this discover how problematic it is."
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Ryan went on to explain that a big factor in the decision not to produce a lower specced PS5 was the potentially reduced longevity of these types of consoles.
"Based on our research, it’s clear that people who buy a game console want to continue using it for four, five, six, or even seven years," Ryan continued. "They want to believe they have bought something that is future-proofed and not going to be outdated in two-to-three years."
Not all about price
It's unclear exactly which previous consoles Ryan is referring to, though it seems the PlayStation boss is justifying why Sony has opted to launch the PS5 Digital Edition, which boasts the same specs of the standard PS5, but lacks a disc-tray and comes in $100 less.
That's in contrast to Microsoft's approach of creating a more affordable, lower specced alternative to its flagship console instead.
After all, we know that, alongside the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is launching the less powerful (but considerably more affordable) Xbox Series S on November 10 – which will cost just $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499. That's $100 less than the PS5 Digital Edition, which comes in at $399.99 / £359.99 / AU$599.95.
While Microsoft's cheaper console has been met positively, offering the most affordable next-gen option, Sony seems to be confident in its decision to keep the PS5 Digital at the same specs as its standard alternative – even if it comes in a bit more than the Series S.
"Clearly, price is a very important factor," Ryan said. "We respect other companies’ competitive strategies. However, we are fully committed to and believe in our current strategy and the effect it will have."
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