Skip to main content

Everything to know about next-generation console game prices

As Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X prepare for their holiday-season launch, all eyes are on games — and how much they’ll cost.

Over the past few months, industry watchers, studio executives, and hardware makers have commented on next-generation game development costs. They all agree that games will cost more to make, thanks to their more sophisticated graphics and high-powered hardware, but they’ve taken different tacks on how to price them.

Some, like Take-Two Interactive, has said that games could — and perhaps, should — cost more when the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launch. Ubisoft, however, has claimed game prices should remain static at $60.

Ultimately, there’s no clarity into how much next-generation games may cost, and players may face a hodgepodge of prices until developers can agree.

So, in a bid to keep the facts straight and provide players with insight into how much games will cost next generation, we’ve compiled the following guide to keep track of what developers are saying and how they ultimately plan to price their games.

Read on to learn more:

Current console game costs

Generally speaking, today’s console games across the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch cost $60.

When was the last time console game prices changed?

It’s been 18 years since game companies increased their prices. In 2002, the $50 game reigned supreme, and studios started boosting their prices to $60. Started is the operative word: It took a few years before the $60 price was universal. It’s possible studios could follow the same tack this generation and ease their way to a higher price.

Why are some studios saying they may hike prices?

Development costs could drive higher game prices this year.

“I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, [the games] will become slightly more human intensive and capital intensive to produce,” Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview earlier this year, adding that there “probably will be an increase in development budgets.”

Still, “We don’t see it as being a massive increase,” Ryan added.

Sony PlayStation boss Shawn Layden also chimed in on a price hike last month in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, saying “the cost of games has gone up 10 times” over the nearly two decades games have been priced at $60.

While studios themselves haven’t put a price tag on how much more it’ll cost to make games for new consoles, Take-Two Interactive chief Strauss Zelnick said development costs on high-end titles continues to rise.

“It costs a great deal more to make those titles,” Zelnick said.

Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two Interactive has been the first major gaming company to say it’s at least planning to move to a $70 price point. So far, the company has only announced next-generation game pricing on NBA 2K21 and said it’ll charge $70 for the title.

On a recent earnings call with investors, Zelnick stopped short of saying all of Take-Two’s games will cost $70 and said the company plans to look at prices on a “title-by-title basis.”

“The pricing has to reflect the quality of the experience,” Zelnick said.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft, which has several major titles planned for next-generation hardware, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, said it will stick to a $60 price point for the foreseeable future. However, CEO Yves Guillemot told investors that the company will only commit to the $60 price tag through the holidays. Beyond that, it may reevaluate.

Microsoft

Microsoft hasn’t announced pricing plans for next-generation games, but the company has said that all Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, will be available on Xbox Game Pass when they launch. For just $10 per month, in other words, Xbox Series X owners will be able to play all Xbox Game Studios games at launch.

Activision Blizzard

On a recent earnings call, Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick sidestepped questions about its next-generation pricing and said the company will share its plans “soon.”

EA

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has similarly sidestepped any talk about his company’s pricing plans and said it would evaluate its pricing model “as time goes on.”

Editors' Recommendations

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. He has been writing about the world of…
The best games on PlayStation Plus, Extra, and Premium
A person plays Crash Bandicoot using a PS5 DualSense controller.

PlayStation Plus has undergone several iterations and changes since its introduction. Originally, the service wasn't required for online play at all and rewarded subscribers with extra discounts and free monthly games. Once the PlayStation 4 generation began, it was required for online play but still offered those same benefits.

Now, PS Plus is divided into three different tiers of subscriptions. The basic tier, PS Plus Essential, still gets three games per month added, while the Extra and Premium tiers will have a varying number of games added to their catalogs. With hundreds of games already and more coming and going all the time, even the most dedicated gamer won't be able to play everything on offer. To help you get the most bang for your buck and so that no hidden gems fly under your radar, here are all the best games to play on PS Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium right now.
Best PS Plus Essential games
As is usually the case, everyone with the lowest tier of PS Plus gets three games this month, two with PlayStation 5 versions and one with a PS4 version. Here's what you can play this month:

Read more
All upcoming PS5 games: 2024 and beyond
Eve kneeling with her sword.

The PlayStation 5 has been out for some time now, and its reception has been mostly positive. It includes lots of quality-of-life improvements over its predecessor, the PlayStation 4, such as faster load times, a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD), and an improved controller in the form of the new DualSense. However, a console is only as good as the games available on it, and thankfully, the PS5 has you covered on that front as well.

While the machine already has a worthy library of great PS5 games, there are even more to look forward to, with some releasing as soon as this month, while others are still years away. In the video game world, it's not uncommon to be aware of games that are still several years out from release. It's also normal for a new game to be revealed and launched within just a couple of months. In this comprehensive list, we'll go through the major PS5 releases scheduled for 2023 and speculate on future games.

Read more
PlayStation 6: release date speculation, price, specs, and more
sony reveals customizable ps5 dualsense edge controller front and back

In a recent quote, Sony Senior Vice President Naomi Matsuoka said: "Looking ahead, PS5 will enter the latter stage of its life cycle." Many in the industry took that to mean that we may be hearing about the next PlayStation console sooner rather than later.

Considering Sony has yet to break its naming convention, it feels safe to assume whatever future home console we get will be called the PlayStation 6. But not only has the name not been officially confirmed, but neither has the idea of a next-generation PlayStation console or even a PS5 Pro. It's almost a guarantee, but technically nothing is set in stone. Rumors and potential leaks have already started stirring up excitement, so let's see what the future of PlayStation may look like according to the rumors.
Release date speculation

Read more