Xbox vs. PlayStation: a War Neither Side is Fighting


Shivaditya Gohil, Staff Writer

With November drawing closer, the battle between Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s, confusingly named, Xbox Series X and Series S is starting to ramp up, but things are vastly different from previous console generations. While Sony is continuing their closed ecosystem practice, Xbox has taken a wildly different approach.

While on the surface, Sony may appear to be more consumer friendly with their $400 diskless digital console which is a large discount from the $500 disk drive console; they are still continuing their old business practices. The large discount may seem appealing at first, but in the long run, it would be incredibly more expensive as digital games usually cost more than disk games, even more so for used versions. In fact, buying the digital edition would push consumers further into the Sony ecosystem as they have to use the online PSN store, which Sony takes a 30% cut, for all their game purchases. The final cherry on this very expensive cake is how Sony is pushing certain games to $70, which would only further drain the pockets of consumers with the digital PS5. However, the PS5’s saving grace is its console exclusives. With titles such as Spider-Man Miles Morales, Demon Souls Remake, Horizon Forbidden West, and more, people have been clamouring for the PS5 just to get these games.

Xbox on the other hand is following a more consumer friendly approach by greatly pushing the Xbox Game Pass(XGP) with their two new consoles the Xbox Series X($500) and the Xbox Series S($300). Similar to Sony, the Xbox Series S is a digital version of the Series X but is also significantly weaker. However, the long term cost for a Series S won’t be nearly as expensive as the digital PS5 due to the Xbox Game Pass. But what is the Xbox Game Pass and why is it so great? Well imagine a Netflix style subscription but for video games; for $10 a month, you get access to a plethora of first party Xbox exclusives and other 3rd party games. So instead of paying $70 for every new PS5 exclusive game, Xbox owners can pay $10 a month for every single first-party Xbox and other third party games. What is even better is that you don’t need an Xbox to enjoy this pass. Microsoft has been pushing for more options for games and have brought their games and XGP to PC, and for $15 a month, you can play on your Xbox, PC, and phone. 

But why the great difference in strategies for the two companies this time? It’s because the consoles play a different role for each company. Sony needs the Playstation as it is a major portion of their revenue, but Microsoft does not need the Xbox as it already makes a significant profit from other ventures. Thus, the Playstation has to rake in as much profit as possible for Sony while the Xbox can glide on by with lower prices. However as the console release date slowly looms closer, it will be expected that both companies will become more major headlines, and only time will tell which strategy will be more effective. As it stands now, I believe that Sony will be more successful with console sales as most people, myself included, are more interested in Sony’s exclusive games. However, Xbox will make more net profit through the Xbox Game Pass, as it has already surpassed 15 million users even before the consoles have been released.