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China trade tariffs won't directly raise PS5, Xbox Series X prices

U.S. and China sign new trade pact that cancels proposed electronics tariff that could've raised next-gen console prices

Derek Strickland | Jan 28, 2020 at 10:20 am CST (28 mins, 14 secs time to read)

The United States and China have signed a new trade pact to dampen 2019's international tariffs while also eliminating the extra 25% tax on video game electronics.


A now-cancelled tariff could've substantially raised the price of next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, both of which may already be expensive enthusiast products priced at $499 each. The new regulations peel back original plans for extra import taxes on vital gaming components.

The previous regulations, which called for a hefty 25% ad valorum tax tacked onto select goods like video game hardware components imported from China, would've disrupted the critical supply chains of major console-makers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The Big Three banded together and warned the U.S. government that the tariffs could force costs to rise and affect the economy (higher prices could mean lower sales). Sony in particular delivered two warnings.

As a result, all three companies made express plans to move some of their console production and manufacturing outside of China to avoid the tariffs. Sources say the companies were eyeing Taiwanese facilities.

We're unsure how much Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo each spent on these moves, and whether or not the transition could have a material impact on console sale prices.

Typically Microsoft and Sony sell their systems at a loss and make up for it with software and services. Nintendo, however, intends to sell every Switch console at a profit. So it's possible that the Switch, or even the rumored Switch Pro possibly coming in 2020, could be affected price-wise.

Given the PlayStation 5's and Xbox Series X's higher-end specs (customized Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU, new high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSD, 16GB of unified memory, etc.) the systems could end up being pricey to manufacture.

Both systems are due out by Holiday 2020. Pricing nor specifics on hardware specifications have been revealed. Check below for more info, including confirmed and speculated specs.

China trade tariffs won't directly raise PS5, Xbox Series X prices 11 |

Xbox Series X confirmed details (Formerly Project Scarlett):

  • 8-core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU
  • Navi GPU on RDNA architecture
  • Highly customized 7nm SoC from AMD
  • GDDR6 memory
  • 2x Xbox One X's 6TFLOPs of GPU perf
  • 4x CPU power of Xbox One generation
  • Can deliver up to 40x more performance than Xbox One in specific use cases
  • Adaptive sync supported
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • Supports 8K resolution (likely media playback)
  • 120FPS gaming
  • Variable refresh rate (adaptive sync/FreeSync)
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Raytracing confirmed with dedicated raytracing cores
  • Backward compatible with thousands of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games
  • New controller with a dedicated share button
  • Compatible with Xbox One accessories

Lockhart (Unconfirmed lower-end Xbox Series hardware)

  • 1440p 60FPS
  • No disc drive
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • 7nm AMD SoC w/ scaled-down 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHZ and Navi GPU
  • Lower GDDR6 memory pool (Possibly 12GB)
  • ~6-8 TFLOPs of power?
  • Aims to rival PS4 Pro/Replace Xbox One S
  • Full backward compatibility with all Xbox One games
  • Cheaper MSRP

Anaconda/Xbox Series X/Project Scarlett

  • 4K 60FPS
  • Disc drive with 4K UHD playback
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • 7nm AMD SoC with 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz and Navi GPU
  • 16GB GDDR6 RAM
  • 12 TFLOPs of power
  • 2x GPU power as Xbox One X/aims to replace Xbox One X
  • Full backward compatibility with all Xbox One games
  • More expensive MSRP

Xbox Series X coverage:

Sony is expected to reveal the PS5 in a special event in February 2020. The console will release in Holiday 2020, and it may cost $499.

Check below for more info on everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far:

China trade tariffs won't directly raise PS5, Xbox Series X prices 5 |

PlayStation 5 specs and details:

  • Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU
  • 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.2GHz
  • Navi GPU at 2.0GHz with 36 Compute Units
  • Navi, Zen SoC uses new AMD RDNA 2.0 architecture
  • Ultra-fast SSD
  • Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
  • Ray-tracing enabled
  • 8K output support (for gaming)
  • Plays all PS4 games
  • Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
  • New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback

PlayStation 5 Coverage:

Last updated: Jan 29, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

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Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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