PS5 and Xbox Series X games may cost more than you think. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are set to release this holiday season, and it looks like the consoles will finally raise the price of games. Today, 2K announced that the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 won't cost $60 like the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game do, but $70. For months, there has been scuttlebutt that game prices will be raised alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X. At the time, this was nothing more than rumors and speculation, but it now looks like there's some truth to the claims.
If 2K is going to charge $70 for PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21, others will follow. It may not be the norm at first, but once the first domino falls, the rest usually aren't far behind. And according to IDG Consulting President and CEO Yoshio Osaki, this has been a long time coming.
As the CEO of the games research firm points out, game pricing has remained flat for 15 years while the pricing of other forms of digital entertainment has increased. Meanwhile, the cost of games development has also drastically increased, which means profit margins have been gradually getting smaller.
"The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006, when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation," said Osaki while speaking to Games Industry. "During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up."
$10 may seem like a big increase, but comparatively, it's not. That's only a 17% increase. Meanwhile, not only is the cost of next-gen console game production increasing by 200 to 300%, but elsewhere prices have consideredly increased. For example, Netflix subscriptions are up 100%; movie tickets are up 39%; and Cable TV costs have risen 105%. Further, as Osaki points out, this increase doesn't even cover the increase in costs.
"Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons," said Osaki. "While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction."
Osaki concludes by noting many publishers and developers have indicated to IDG that they are exploring increasing the price of their games.
Of course, not every game will be $70, especially at first, but it will increasingly be the norm for big-budget AAA games going forward. And today with NBA 2K21, we got our first taste of this change.
That said, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. Will you be willing to pay $70 for AAA PS5 and Xbox Series X games?