Before today, Sony’s plans for the PS5 were in doubt. Constant questions about pricing, pre-orders, and release dates pounded Sony on social media. After Microsoft was forced to show its cards because of leaks, fans grew even more rabid with demands for answers. Well, now we know, and Sony’s response has all but dashed the early hype that the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X garnered.
Xbox has struggled over this generation. The Xbox One has sold only around half as well as the PS4 in the US and completely failed to penetrate the Japanese market. However, over the last few years, Microsoft has found its niche. Xbox Game Pass has seen success by offering over a hundred games for an affordable subscription fee, which has offset Microsoft’s lack of exclusives. The company also recently built a lot of hype around its Xbox Series S console, which claims to offer a next-gen experience for only $299.99.
However, Sony’s info drop today chipped away at Microsoft’s two most significant strengths. The debut of the PS Plus Collection, which allows PS Plus subscribers access to a library of some of the PS4’s biggest titles for no additional charge, takes aim at Xbox Game Pass. Additionally, the PS5, previously rumored to be more expensive than Microsoft’s offerings, will launch at $499 for the regular PS5 (same as the Xbox Series X), and $399 for the diskless version ($100 more than the Xbox Series S). With the diskless version of the PS5 only being $100 more than the Xbox Series S, those who were going to purchase the Xbox Series S to save money now have an attractive alternative.
Will Xbox Series S counter Sony’s diskless PS5?
Microsoft has placed its bets on Xbox being the cheapest and most accessible next-gen product, but its just not as attractive a choice anymore. With PS5 pre-orders going live shortly after the PS5 Showcase stream, many who were on the fence likely had a case of FOMO and pulled the trigger today. However, there’s plenty of time before the new consoles launch, so Xbox may still have some tricks up its sleeve yet.