Amid the excitement around the launch of the next-gen consoles, one aspect that's stirred controversy -- and is likely to continue to do so long after the initial buzz of the launches has worn off -- is the likelihood that this hardware transition will bring with it a software price hike.

Major publishers are keen to move to a $70 price point for AAA titles, using the new consoles as an opportunity for that step-change -- a strategy that both Sony and Microsoft appear to support, with Microsoft CFO Tim Stuart last week arguing that the price rise is justified, though not revealing as yet whether the company's own first-party titles for Xbox Series S|X would fall in line with this move to $70. The message from all sides seems pretty clear, though; the industry largely seems to be presenting a united front and treating the price hike as a fait accompli.

It's hardly surprising that there's been push-back on this, of course. Nobody likes a price hike, and pressure from consumers to keep prices low is part of the healthy functioning of the market. However, Stuart's half-joking comment that it was "about time" that prices rose is actually pretty solidly on the money; even though as a consumer I'm not exactly thrilled about paying more for games (who would be?), it's undeniable that the longevity of the $60 price point is unsustainable at this stage. In fact, the industry's reticence to lift that headline price has arguably led to a number of negative consequences for games themselves.