While we are supposedly just over two months away from the launch of the next-generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, we still don't have firm release dates for either of them. While specific date have yet to be announced, new reports have emerged claiming to have new details about when each console will finally be made available to gamers. Will Microsoft get the Xbox Series X out before Sony's PS5? Or is it vice versa?
When will the next-gen consoles be released? An August 28 analysis from Video Games Chronicle suggests that the PS5 is on track for a November 2020 release: "In the UK, we understand that PlayStation has already booked significant marketing spend for the seven days commencing on Friday, November 13," the reports says. "Multiple retail sources have also told us that a launch during this window would fit within their expectations."
If it were released the week of November 13, that would put the PS5's launch alongside games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. But it's just as possible that Microsoft might release the Xbox Series X even earlier in November.
Of the two, Microsoft has been more open about when exactly its next-generation console will arrive. After delaying Halo Infinite, Microsoft confirmed that its next-generation platfrom will be released during November 2020 on Xbox Wire. While it didn't share a specific date, the warrenty on the leaked Xbox Seires X controllers and well as the aforementioned VGC report suggest that it will arrive during the first week of the month, most likely on November 6.
According to VGC's article, Microsoft really wants to get the Xbox Series X out ahead of the PS5's launch, and will still try to launch before November 13, even if there are supply chain issues. But is this strategy of getting out ahead of the PS5 worth it?
Is being the first next-gen console on shelves worth it? Flashing back to 2013, the PlayStation 4 was the first current-gen console to be released on November 15. The Xbox One wasn't released until another week later on November 22. The PS4 has been the clear winner of this console generation, and that weeklong headstart may have helped Sony win out.
Being the first next-generation out on the market will definitely draw a lot of eyes and interest, especially for people who just want to play next-gen quality games as soon as possible with very littler consideration given to which console it's on. The Xbox Series X seems to lack any major first-party games after the delay of Halo Infinite, but if it were released in the first week of November, that would put it ahead of PS5 and Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales nonetheless.
Microsoft may be hoping to undercut Sony when it comes to the price of its next-gen console. Microsoft might be willing to make the Xbox Series X cheaper than the PS5, and if not, it should still have the rumored Xbox Series S model that will be significantly cheaper than the PS5. It's theorized that Microsoft is willing to sell the Xbox Series X at a loss in order to gain a greater portion of the market share.
Analyst Michael Patcher told Geoff Keighley in an interview, "Microsoft has a big balance sheet. If they want to cut the price by $100, just price below and subsidize the first 10 million, they will."
Getting out first and cheaper is a smart way to entice your general consumer that doesn't know much about gaming. As such, Microsoft seems to be relying on that appeal now that it's biggest launch exclusives are Scorn, Tetris Effect: Connected, and The Medium.
Even if PS5 wins this console generation in the long run, Microsoft is trying to ensure a successful start to the next generation by putting out the Xbox Series X before PS5.