Next-gen is always going to be a hot topic. People wonder about things to come. How cool will they be? Will it be worth investing in a new platform? What sorts of games could they expect? Hype can be fun. But a new generation also means it might be a good idea to be practical. Waiting for price drops, insight into online infrastructure situations, and potential libraries might be best.
One thing people will need to consider is the cost. A new PlayStation 4 Pro is $399.99. Your basic Xbox One X bundle with a game tends to be $499.99. Even a standard Nintendo Switch is $299.99. The bar is being set pretty high. With those figures in mind, you have to go in thinking that a PlayStation 5 price could be set around at least $399.99, if not $499.99. Considering how Microsoft is trying to hype up how powerful the next Xbox will be, maybe it could be at least $499.99.
Pair that with the state of the world today. Tariffs are in effect, trade wars are going on, and systems are made overseas. Even if things change after the 2020 elections, there won’t be drastic alterations overnight. We also have to consider our economy. There’s always an ebb and flow to things, and it has been looking like a recession could be on the horizon in the next few years. People might not have the extra income available to make such extravagant purchases.
There are also the internet issues to keep in mind. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were the first systems to really start embracing online activities and purchases. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were the ones where digital started to become commonplace and streaming services began taking hold. The PlayStation 5 and next Xbox’s era will likely be the one where we could end up seeing digital become the primary means of acquiring purchases. Streaming could have an even greater influence over our lives. But everyone's internet isn't created equal. Already, people are having issues downloading 100GB games or getting patches that could easily clock in at around 5GB or larger.
We also have Google Stadia proving that hey, full time streaming could need a littl emore time. The service had a number of promises going into its November 2019 launch, and it didn’t do a great job of keeping all of them immediately. While things like library size shouldn’t be an issue with the next generation of consoles, having internet speeds and data caps that would allow for the right sorts of streaming could very well be a problem. We have a cautionary tale right in front of us.
But then, maybe libraries could be an issue with the next Xbox and PlayStation 5 games. Think about the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches. Both were accompanied by a lot of ports that were only slightly prettier or better than the original PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 releases. People should also think about how many first-party games each system had. The PlayStation 3 had over 100 first-party retail releases from Sony in different countries around the world, not counting all the SingStars. The PlayStation 4 had about 40 Sony retail releases as of 2019, not counting the upcoming 2020 Dreams, MLB the Show 20, Nioh 2, The Last of Us Part II, and Predator: Hunting Grounds releases. For Xbox 360 retail releases from Xbox Game Studios, we had around 70. As for the Xbox One, Microsoft only put out around 40 as of 2019. Granted, that doesn’t count games like Halo Infinite. Still, we’re seeing a shift in how many companies publish.
This isn’t to say people shouldn’t get excited about or get a next-gen console. Absolutely go for it. It is encouraging moderation. There could be concerns about jumping into things too quickly. Costs, libraries, and internet requirements should all be considered first.