As the clock keeps ticking down to the release of PS5, prospective buyers have began to wonder at what price Sony’s new console will be selling when it hits the market in fall 2020.
Sadly, though, Sony has yet to disclose the price the new PlayStation will be launching this year. And according to a recent report by Bloomberg (via Eurogamer) the Japanese company is facing something of a dilemma when it comes to the PS5’s price.
You see, the console’s “bill of materials” is coming at $450 US dollars according to Bloomberg, with Sony having already nailed down most of the components which will go into its latest and greatest PlayStation console.
This means that if the console costs $450 to manufacture, Sony will almost certainly have to sell the new PlayStation at a higher price than it did the PS4, which launched at a $399 US dollar price back in 2013. Unless that is, Sony is willing to sell the PS5 at a loss, something it did with the PS3 (which launched at a steep $600 US dollars) and which cost the Japanese company billions back in the day.
So assuming Sony wants each PS5 be to profitable, it’s hard to think they will be able to sell this thing for less than $500 USD come this fall. And a big contributor to the console’s price aside from its advanced processor and graphics hardware no doubt is the lightning fast SSD drive Sony is fitting into the machine.
This is because SSD drives are based on flash memory, making them quite a bit more dear than the regular hard drives the PS4 and PS4 Pro come with. Actually, going for flash memory storage with the PS5 will put Sony in contention with mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung, which are also in demand for it, as it’s a key component of its next-gen Galaxy S20 phones which launched this February.
Also, taking into account the cost of flash memory Sony might not be able to fit a drive bigger than 500 GB in the PS5, the same size drive the PS4 shipped with back in 2013. This could be problematic taking into account that video game install sizes have ballooned since the PS4’s launch, meaning a 500 GB drive in the PS5 seems puny by today’s standards. Meanwhile, the PS4 Pro is mostly sold with a 1 TB drive worldwide, suggesting Sony should aim for a 1 TB drive as a minimum for the PS5.
Aside from a SSD drive for game storage, the console will ship with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory (the kind used in high-end PC graphics cards), which comes at a premium, and additional memory for the machine’s operating system according to a recent leak, both of which have seen price spikes in the past.
It’s hard to see the PS5 selling for less than $500 US dollars (or the more marketing friendly $499) then, unless Sony really wants to undercut Microsoft and is willing to sell the console at a loss. This is something which might work taking into account the company makes most of its money from subscriptions (PS Plus and PS Now) and video game sales, rather than console sales.
Sony, though, will likely not be announcing a price for the next PlayStation until Microsoft makes its move, which is unlikely to happen until the E3 show this June. But hopefully Sony will find a way to keep the price down, something which will surely be a good thing for those looking forward to dive into the next console generation later this year.