This is how Xbox and PlayStation have dropped in price throughout history

Now that the new generation of consoles has been launched, with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as the maximum representatives, many people wonder if it is a good time to buy ( if you can find stock ) at the best price , or if on the contrary it is better to wait for a price drop.

Given the size of the new consoles, especially the PlayStation 5, there are also those who wonder how long they will have to wait for a slim model or with more contained dimensions . Answering these questions is impossible, because we do not know the current strategies of Sony and Microsoft.

However, we can look back and see how long their consoles take to drop in price for the first time in two generations , how long they take to be lowered to 50% and how long they take to be replaced by thinner models. And we have done that, always taking official price drops on the reference models. That is, no models with very little or much storage.

If you are one of the people who wonders how long it can take until Sony launches a slim PS5, I tell you the same thing as a few lines ago: we do not know their plans and we cannot guarantee anything. However, if what you are interested in is knowing in which time bands they have moved other times, this graph can be revealing :

In it we can see that, on average, Sony has taken about 3 and a half years to launch the slim models if we count from PS1 . However, since then it has rained a lot, and if we only take into account PS3 and PS4 , the average is two and a half years. If this were true this generation, we could see a PS5 Slim sometime in 2023. By that year, it is highly likely that Sony and AMD could manufacture the PS5 SoC in a more advanced lithographic process from TSMC , which would allow the quantity of heat to dissipate was smaller and, therefore, the size of the console was relatively easy to reduce.

As for Xbox, the average of the last two consoles tells us that you have to wait more than three and a half years to get a smaller model , although this time the S Series already is. If we only serve the Xbox One, in just over two and a half years we could have it with us.


As in the previous case, we can analyze how long Sony and Microsoft have taken to make the first official price drop on their consoles in order to try to intuit when a drop could come to PS5 and Xbox Series X. By official we mean that they are drops proposed by manufacturers , not by large stores doing limited promotions and very localized in time.

As we can see, the figures are very different between the four consoles. However, there is a certain pattern. PS3 and Xbox One, the least successful and most expensive of the four, took less than a year to drop against the few sales that both were achieving . However, both PS4 and Xbox 360, the two most successful and adjusted in price at launch, were very close to not going down in two years.

In the case of PS5 and Xbox Series X, being sold out at relatively high launch prices, garnering rave reviews in general, and knowing that they are selling at a loss , it is hard to imagine an early price drop if they both work in sales when there are more offer .


This graph helps us imagine when we can expect an official price drop that will bring the consoles to 50% of their original value. In the case of Sony, the average tells us that the PlayStation reach that 50% (even with temporary promotions) at the end of the second year, although PS4 Slim had only permanently reduced € 100 compared to the original price of PS4 after six years . We will see this in greater depth in the next section

In the case of the two Xbox analyzed, the average is almost four years, because officially, Microsoft took a long time to reduce the Xbox 360 to 50% . However, there were already unofficial temporary offers at € 199 at the end of 2008, three years after going on the market. To see the best consoles of this generation at € 250, you may have to wait until the end of 2023, if the averages of the previous ones are met. The wait is long, but it may be worth it for anyone who wants to make the leap from generation to generation with a very solid catalog.

The beginnings of PS3 were not good , and six months later, Sony quickly acted by cutting the console, discontinuing the launch version and releasing one with 40 GB and without backward compatibility with PS2 games . From that moment on, the PlayStation already had a price more in line with the competition, but Sony did not make money from the sale of each console until 2010

CONSOLE

DATE

PRICE

Playstation 3

March 2007

599 euros

PlayStation 3 40 GB

October 2007

399 euros

PlayStation 3 Slim

September 2009

299 euros

PlayStation 3 Slim

August 2011

249.99 euros

PlayStation 3 Super Slim 500 GB

September 2012

299 euros

PlayStation 3 Super Slim 12 GB

November of 2013

179 euros

Officially, and it is important to mention it, because it will be the data on which we base ourselves, the PS3 did not drop in price from that moment until in September 2009, the Japanese company launched the PlayStation 3 Slim at 299 euros. In other words, Sony “radically” updated its console for the first time after two years and five months of PS3 on the market . This moment is also very relevant, as it marked the milestone of being the first time that PS3 officially dropped to half the launch price.


From there, there were price drops that, again, were slow to come. Almost two years after the slimmest model arrived, the 160GB PS3 Slim was down to $ 249.99. Three years after launching the Slim, Sony launched the Super Slim with a 500 GB hard drive for a price of 299 euros, although later it accompanied it with a 12 GB model for 229.99 euros. That model would drop to 179 euros on November 15, 2013, as a farewell to the arrival of its successor, the PlayStation 4 .


On November 29, 2013, Sony launched the PlayStation 4, which overcame the cost problems of its predecessor , and although it was launched again almost at a loss , as usual, it came at a price of 399 euros, investing what the previous generation had passed and arriving 100 euros cheaper than its main competitor, the Xbox One.

Given its price and success from the first moment, Sony did not lower the PS4 until October 21, 2015, when it reduced its price by 50 euros . On December 28, 2015, Sony temporarily lowered its price to 299 euros.

The PS4 is Sony’s most recent most successful console, and the company has hardly had to lower its price in its seven years of life.
Precisely that, 299 euros, was the price chosen by Sony for the PS4 Slim when it launched in September 2016. It had been two years and nine months since the launch of the original model. Sony took four more months to launch the slim model than it did on PS3 , with the addition that it now came alongside the PS4 Pro , launched for 399 euros. As it is not the base model, we will not focus on it.

CONSOLE

DATE

PRICE

Playstation 4

November of 2013

399 euros

Playstation 4

October 2015

349.99

Playstation 4

December 2015

299 euros (temporary)

PlayStation 4 Slim

September 2016

299 euros

PlayStation 4 Slim

March 2017

199 euros (temporary)

PlayStation 4 Slim

December 2018

199 euros (temporary)

In March 2017, coinciding with the launch of Nintendo Switch , Sony decided to make a temporary offer of the PS4, leaving it at 199 euros. Thus, the milestone was reached: just over three years after its launch, PS4 was lowered to 50% of its price.

In April 2018, the PS4 Slim temporarily fell to 250 euros, so that 50% discount was still far from being established definitively . It did not arrive in 2018, although a Christmas offer was established again in 2018. The same happened in 2019. Curiously, and given its great sales, PS4 Slim still had, six years after its launch, a cost of € 299, only 100 euros less than the original model when it hit the market. Of course, along the way Sony and the distributors gave many opportunities to buy it later.


Given the late arrival of the original Xbox compared to the PlayStation 2, one of the best-selling and most successful consoles in history, Microsoft had to move forward and get ahead of Sony. And it did so much on time, releasing the Xbox 360 in Europe more than a year earlier, on December 2, 2005.

The other great point of the launch of the Xbox 360 were its prices , 299 euros for the model without a hard drive and a wired controller and 399 euros for the model with a wireless controller and a 20 GB hard drive. This will be the model we will focus on, as it is the best-selling model and the one comparable to PS3 in features.

CONSOLE

DATE

PRICE

Xbox 360

December 2005

399 euros

Xbox 360

August 2007

349 euros

Xbox 360

March 2008

269.99 euros

Xbox 360

239.99 euros

239.99 euros

Xbox 360

April 2010

199 euros

Xbox 360 Slim

June 2010

249 euros

Xbox 360 Slim

April 2011

199 euros

Microsoft did not lower its price until August 2007, when PS3 was already tightening , dropping 50 euros to 349 euros. Later in March 2008, with the PS3 at 399 euros, the Xbox 360 stood at 269.99 euros.

In September 2009, Microsoft lowered it to 239.99 euros, but it was not until the end of April 2010 that it would touch the coveted price of 199 euros , half of what had been launched. At that time, the model with a hard drive was already the Elite, while the Arcade, which already had a wireless controller, but no hard drive, was at 169 euros. It should be remembered that we are talking about official prices, because already in October 2008, stores like El Corte Inglés sold it for € 199.

The Slim model of Xbox 360 , which was not called that but just Xbox 360, arrived in June 2010 with a 250 GB hard drive at the price of 249 euros. In April 2011, Microsoft lowered it in price to 199, being again half the price of the original model. Of course, since then, in addition to seeing its size reduced, it received a much larger hard drive, Wi-Fi connectivity and better cooling.

William White
Bachelor in Audiovisual Communication and amateur travel. Between getaway and getaway. When I have spare time, I see sport (I leave it to others to practice it).
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