Next Gen Consoles Are Going to Cost Enough Without Trade Tariffs
With expected next gen specs already hinting that our wallets aren't going to be big enough, a trade war with China is the last thing we need.
It’s an exciting time to be a gamer. Next gen consoles are on the horizon and so are the games that naturally come with them. Whilst we’re excited to get our hands on shiny new toys, very little has been announced in terms of price points. Ultimately, this will be the deciding factor when it comes to the adoption rate come launch day. Mircosoft has been relatively open when it comes to the specs of their next gen console, and we can make an educated estimate based on that. Compiled by Gamespot, the Xbox Series X is said to be running:
CPU: AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
GPU: AMD Navi-based GPU (~12 TFLOPs)
RAM: GDDR6 SDRAM (capacity not confirmed)
Storage: NVMe SSD (capacity not confirmed)
Max Output Resolution: 8K
Max Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Partner Director of Program Management, Jason Ronald, spoke with Windows Central. He clarified that Microsoft was aware the console had to meet “reasonable price points” in order to be competitive. They learned the hard way that being more expensive does you no favors with consumers. The current retail price expected for the Xbox Series X is between $500-$600. Although we currently know very little about the PS5, and we may see more in February, a $500 price tag seems reasonable considering the launch price of a PS4 Pro.
The main driving force behind the price will be the cost of manufacture. The recent trade war between America and China has meant that this has been a question mark over the future of next gen for some time. Following a recent agreement between President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, the situation seems to have cooled. A number of taxes have been taken off of the table indefinitely, the most notable (for us) being the console tariff which would have seen a proposed 25% import tax on consoles. Although neither Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo are based in China, a large portion of their consoles are manufactured within the country. According to figures from 2018, around 96% of console imports to the United States are from China.
Prior to this agreement, Sony and Mircosoft both scaled back production within China, which was set to affect the base price for the consumer. Although the impending threat has gone, this is by no means an end to the trade tensions between the US and their Asian counterpart. The tariffs against two-thirds of Chinese imports is still being upheld by the United States.
What price would you be happy to pay for next gen hardware? Is the Xbox Series X or the PS5 going to be a day one purchase for you, or are you holding out hope for the long rumoured Switch Pro?
Did you get a chance to see the amazing PS5 concept images put together by FalconDesign3D, based on the supposedly ‘leaked’ designs? Check them out below!