According to an industry analyst, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett will each have a $399 price tag when they hit store shelves next holiday season. Though the public has yet to get so much as a peek at what Project Scarlett actually looks like, and since the PS5 has yet to even receive a formal announcement, prospective players of each console finally have an idea of what size of a hole the next-generation of home consoles will blow through their wallets when it arrives.
Since Microsoft officially unveiled its code-named Project Scarlett at E3 2019, all focus has shifted to the ninth console generation; what little is known has been run through with a fine-toothed comb to help piece together better images of what consumers will be bringing into their living rooms at launch. Both Scarlett and the PS5 are expected to be technological powerhouses capable of competing with high-end gaming PCs, each sporting an incomplete, but incredibly exciting list of specs. So far, Sony has remained more tight-lipped about its next console than its competitor due to being absent from E3, so very little beyond some general hardware expectations are known about the PS5. Meanwhile, some concrete Scarlett specs and features were shared at this year's conference, and the console's price and design are expected to be revealed soon.
Speaking to GamingBolt, well-established analyst Michael Pachter estimates that both Microsoft and Sony will shoot for a $399 price point for the launch of Xbox Scarlett and the PS5. Pachter says he recognizes that "the specs suggest $500 or so," as it was with the 2013 launch of the Xbox One, but he maintains his hunch that "Microsoft will announce $399 and Sony will follow suit." While that seems like great news for any gamer looking to jump ship to the latest and greatest in console gaming, a Twitter account dedicated to PS5 news and rumors alleges that Pachter separately informed them that the PS5 will cost consumers a whopping $800 - an absolutely unheard of bar to entry for modern consoles.
If the latter speculation is an actual prediction of Pachter's, it understandably casts some doubt upon the validity of his information this time around. Luckily, Pachter isn't the only pundit weighing in on the price of the PS5 and Scarlett. As translated and evaluated by T3, a report by Sony analyst Hideki Yasuda places the price of the PS5 back into Pachter's admittedly more pragmatic realm of $500. Players can, should, and likely will continue to keep their fingers crossed that Pachter's $400 guess is correct, but keeping expectations (and savings accounts) a bit more metered like Yasuda might save everyone from a lot of undue heartache.
With persistently rising costs and stagnant wages, the result of the next console arms race between Sony and Microsoft may be largely decided by the ability of one to price the other out of the competition without selling too many consoles at a loss. It'll be a wonder how either the PS5 or Scarlett can remain affordable when packed with such beefy hardware for home systems, but the manufacturer that manages to pull that balancing act off best will be at a significant advantage in 2020.