An increase in the costs of components means the PlayStation 5 may end up costing more than Sony, and fans, had hoped.
There are lots of things Sony hasn’t announced yet about the PlayStation 5, but one of the most important is how much it will cost.
Sony execs have already warned that they can’t control the price level of the new console and implied they were waiting to see what the Xbox Series X would cost before deciding on their own price tag.
One reason for that though may be the cost of components, which according to a Bloomberg report have risen to ‘around’ $450 (£345) per console.
The problem is the current scarcity of DRAM and NAND flash memory, which are also used to make smartphones. With the Xbox Series X also entering production, a reliable supply has suddenly become very difficult to find.
In previous generations it’s been common for Microsoft and Sony to sell their consoles at a launch, but that wasn’t the case with the PlayStation 4, which at a launch cost around $381 to make and was initially sold for $399.
If Sony went for a similar profit margin with the PlayStation 5 that would mean the cost to buy the console would be at least $470 (£360).
That’s $70 more than the PlayStation 4 and while it works out as only £10 more in the UK, due to changes in currency values, the final UK price is always more than a direct conversion of the US price.
As well as selling at a loss, one option for Sony may be to switch out some of the components, with the currently intended cooling system apparently being ‘unusually expensive’.
Sony has some difficult decisions ahead of it and the fact that it hasn’t locked down either the price or the components yet suggests that a full reveal may still be some weeks, or months, away.
However, Sony claims that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has had no effect on preparations so far, despite the console being manufactured in China.
The Bloomberg report also mentions that, as expected, Sony intends to release a new version of the PlayStation VR headset after the PlayStation 5 launches, and that ‘many of the games launched for the PlayStation 5 will also be available to play on the predecessor machine’.
Whether that means specific editions just for the PlayStation 5 or merely that the PlayStation 4 titles are backwards compatible is, like most things to do with the new console, unclear.
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