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Report: Sony making fewer PS5s, ‘struggling’ with price

Company plans 5 to 6 million units; sold 7.5 million PS4s in its first six months

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a product photo from the left of the PlayStation 5 controller, the DualSense, lying on its back
The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, revealed April 7.
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Sony will make only 5 to 6 million PlayStation 5s in the new console’s first two quarters on sale, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, because the company is grappling with the price and availability of the PS5’s components.

The number is short of the 7.5 million PlayStation 4 systems that Sony sold from November 2013 to March 2014, Bloomberg noted. The company’s manufacturing partners were recently informed by Sony of the 5 to 6 million figure, which isn’t influenced by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Bloomberg said.

It’s more that the guts of the machine are so expensive and rare that Sony has been looking at a price tag in the neighborhood of $499 to $549. Bloomberg has characterized Sony as “struggling” with the price announcement; the PlayStation 4 launched at $399. The base model is now $299 and the PS4 Pro, which launched in 2016, is $399.

In 2006, Sony launched the PlayStation 3 at $499.99, with a higher-end configuration at $599.99. The announced price was widely mocked by the gaming public and blamed for that console’s slow sales relative to the Xbox 360.

While the coronavirus outbreak is, so far, only affecting Sony’s promotional plans for the PS5, Bloomberg’s sources say that could still affect the production orders. Sony’s board of directors was supposed to approve the business plan for the PS5 at a March meeting, but that hasn’t happened as Japan, like most of the world, has been under stay-home orders to contain the virus’ spread. Sony has already announced that its report of quarterly figures, scheduled for April 30, may be pushed back, too.

Ultimately, Bloomberg’s sources say Sony will delay the PlayStation 5’s launch only if Microsoft does the same for its Xbox Series X console, also expected to hit stores in the customary holiday period at year’s end.

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