The price of the games for the next-generation console is expected to rise, according to what reported by the company specializes in market research, IDG Consulting.

The causes of the inflation are to be found inside of the higher production costs of the games, which would have increased between 200% and 300% in the course of the last 15 years. To give us these data is the CEO of IDC, Yoshio Osaki, in the course of an interview given to GamesIndustry.biz, where he explains that the price paid by the consumer for the purchase of a game has remained virtually unchanged since 2005, or since the last time it was registered an increase.

On that occasion it went from $ 49.99 to $ 59.99 and this was in conjunction of the launch of the Xbox 360 and later PlayStation 3. From 2005 to 2020, the sale price remained steady, while production costs lievitavano and the price of many other services related to the entertainment industry was revised to the upside.

To give a measure, are mentioned cinema tickets (+39%), a subscription to Netflix (+100%) and cable tv (+105%). Of course we talk of increases for the u.s. market; the same also occurred in the rest of the world, even if the percentages and the reference prices may vary.

With regard to the video game market, and the increase is again quantified at around 10 dollars a copy, then you would rise from the current 59,99 to $ 69.99 for the titles dedicated to the new console generation as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X Microsoft. In this case it would be an increase of 17%, so very far from what we have seen in other sectors, but it is still significant.

That the current situation was no longer sustainable was already in the air for a long time, and the last signal has come to us from the former Sony Shawn Layden, who has recently brought the issue to the centre of media attention: the price list of the games triple A is always less representative of the costs incurred for their development and it is no longer sufficient to ensure the good health of the market and the possibility of making games that deal with issues not able to attract a large mass of users.

In the current scenario, in fact, the number of copies sold becomes more and more important as each single unit contributes to more marginal than in the past: it is therefore necessary to sell in larger quantities and at a higher price to be included in the costs.

NBA 2K21 is the first title to offer us a tangible example of how is changing the price of games on consoles next gen. The official web-site, in fact, already allows you to rent the version for today’s platforms (PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch) and for those coming to the end of the year (PS5 and Series X), confirming that this latest edition will have a list price of 5 euro more than what we are usually accustomed.

Above you will find a gallery that shows the price of all major versions of NBA 2K21 and this allows us to see the strategy for the distribution of the game. We can summarise it thus:

  • The standard versions of PS4 and Xbox One have a cost of 69,99 euros (drops you at 59,99 for the Switch and the PC, on Steam)
  • The same versions PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are offered for 74,99 euro
  • All the special edition “Mamba Forever Edition” have a price of 99.99 euro , regardless of the platform choice

An interesting aspect is also the policy adopted by 2K for the upgrade of the versions current gen counterparts next gen. This is not allowed if you purchased the standard edition of the game, so if you buy the standard edition on PS4 and Xbox One, you will not have the ability to update the title with the version corresponding to PS5 or Series X.

This possibility is reserved exclusively to those who purchase the Mamba Forever Edition, which is expected to transition to the next gen without further additions. One aspect to be noted is the fact that this version of the game will not be available in physical version, but only in a digital format. Or better, you can buy it physically, but inside the packaging there is a code to download the game from their store (only for PS4/5 and the Xbox One/Series X, the version Mamba forever to Switch to your PC will be offered in physical format). Probably this is to avoid problems to those who choose to buy a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition – we have already discussed the advantages and disadvantages – or a Xbox Series S, since it should not have an optical reader.

The case of the NBA 2K21 shows us how he is going to complicate the scenario of the purchase of games with the approach of the new generation. Between increased prices, a lack of clarity about the policy of backward compatibility and upgrade to the versions next gen, and so on, in the coming months, users will have to pay particular attention to what and how they buy, especially if you do not want to have bad surprises.

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