PS5 could be surprisingly affordable at launch — here's how

(Image credit: Sony)

The $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Xbox Series S are set to launch November 10, but extra price-conscious gamers can finance either console starting at $25 a month thanks to the Xbox All Access program. While Sony doesn't yet have an official financing program of its own for the PS5, you still may be able to snag the next-gen console without paying a ton of money upfront. 

As reported by VentureBeat, gaming retailer GameStop is planning to offer multiple purchasing options for the new consoles releasing this fall. The company later confirmed these plans in a quarterly earnings report. These payment options will include layaway payments, installment plans with third-party companies and a rent-to-own system that will let shoppers lease and pay off a system between 30 days and 12 months.

GameStop seems to be bracing for a holiday season that could see consumers spending more conservatively in the wake of the global pandemic. The company reports that its net sales of $942 million are down 26.7% from Q2 2019, and that in-store took a hit as a result of closures. But the company's ecommerce sales have risen by 800%, and it appears ready to sell the PS5 and Xbox Series X in a variety of different ways.

"We believe we are ready, with expanded service and payment options, to handle the expected surge in demand and participate in a very significant way in the console launches later this year," said GameStop CEO George Sherman in a statement.

These expanded payment plans are good news for anyone looking to buy a PS5, which is expected to cost in the ballpark of $500 based on recent rumors and speculation. A layaway or rent-to-own system could let customers pay off their PS5 in smaller chunks, making the prospect of bringing home a PS5 this holiday less financially daunting. 

Microsoft has already confirmed that its new consoles will be part of the Xbox All Access program, which will let you finance an Xbox Series X starting at $35 a month or an Xbox Series S starting at $25 a month. Both of these plans include 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, meaning that you get access to a powerful next-gen console and more than 100 games for a single monthly fee.

The option to pay for a next-gen Xbox in monthly installments (not to mention the lower-cost Xbox Series S option) could give the Xbox family a serious ace in the hole over the PS5, which looks to be far more in-demand by gamers. But with third-party retailers such as GameStop also offering flexible pricing, the next-generation of games consoles could be the easiest to jump into no matter what your preference of machine is. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.