Creative Director at NetherRealm Studios Ed Boon posted a poll on Twitter that asked people what they want out of next-gen consoles, and an overwhelming amount of people leaned toward affordability.
The four choices in the poll were "affordable price," "better graphics," "exclusive games" and "plays last-gen games." The survey was taken by 50,295 people, which is a significant pool of people.
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"Affordable price" took the poll with 37.5% of the vote. "Plays last-gen games" came second with 30%, "better graphics" was third at 19.2% and "exclusive games" was a measly 13.2%. It's surprising how low "exclusive games" is on that list, especially since some of the most iconic moments in gaming history come from exclusives, like Halo and God of War.
But let's talk about the "affordable price" request for consoles. PlayStation has been pretty consistent with offering up its new consoles for around $400 to $500. And the company typically sells its consoles at a loss or for a very small profit. The thing is, these next-gen consoles will actually be relatively affordable considering what you get, and if you wait a while after launch, they'll go on sale.
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As for Xbox, it's anticipated that the Xbox Series X is going to be the high-tier system, and ship alongside a more affordable Xbox. Pricing can always fluctuate, but graphics performance doesn't. You'll be stuck with whatever is in your system until the next soft console launch. Jumping from the Xbox One to Xbox One X was liberating because games actually ran well and at a solid frame rate.
What the next-gen consoles need is powerful enough graphics to run at a minimum of 60 frames per second. Awesome classics like Bloodborne could only hit 30 fps and were plagued by framerate issues because the game was simply too taxing for the PS4.
Obviously, the best way around this debate is to have tiered systems, which is what I hope Xbox goes with. And regarding the second-place vote, "plays last-gen games" -- yes, please. We want all of that.
It's likely we won't hear pricing from either side of the fence anytime soon. There's a chance both companies will wait on each other to announce pricing until we all grow weary. Honestly, I don't care if they delay it another year because my back catalog is as thick as the Mancubus from Doom (yes, I just finished this game in 2020).