Xbox UK marketing lead Samuel Bateman decided to tackle some of that irritation over on Twitter, responding to calls to know the release date and price by saying this:
I understand everyone is excited to know and people want to plan purchases etc. We’ll let you all know when we’re ready.
Followed by a heart. Unsurprisingly, people were less than enthused about this entirely untelling reply.
It’s worth noting that this is a very strange situation. For the PS4 and Xbox One, both Sony and Microsoft had release dates and prices ready at the same time they revealed the console, at E3 2013 (goddamn I’m old). Knowing this, it’s safe to say both Sony and Microsoft had an idea — probably a very solid idea — of what exactly they would be charging for their consoles at the start of the year, and when they planned to release it. So the real mystery is why both companies feel afraid to come forward with that information.
My guess — and this is entirely just speculation on my part — is that both consoles will be exorbitantly expensive when released. We’re talking about over 600 dollars kind of expensive. This would make enough sense from a market perspective: availability will be extremely limited, demand will dramatically outpace supply, and COVID-19 complications almost certainly means that they’ve made fewer consoles than they would have liked. So in an effort to avoid selling out while still making money, both companies have decided to really crank up the price, at least for the foreseeable future.
And these delays are just both companies making time for themselves to brace for the inevitable aftermath of announcing these prices during an economic downturn.
Again, this is just speculation, but if they do plan to release their consoles this year, they’ve got three months yet to do it — so this mystery has to conclude sooner or later.