Report: Sony struggling with PS5 costs, price point uncertain

Photo: James Bareham/Polygon

Sony is struggling with “costly parts,” driven by high demand for memory components, that could drive the price of the PlayStation 5 to around $500, according to a report from Bloomberg. The current manufacturing cost of the PS5, Bloomberg says, is around $450.

Competition for DRAM and NAND flash memory are said to be driving up costs, but Bloomberg also reports that Sony is using an especially expensive cooling system for PS5. A common complaint about the company’s current-generation console, the PlayStation 4, is loud fan noise due to heat dissipation.

Bloomberg says Sony is taking a wait-and-see approach — meaning, waiting to see how Microsoft prices its Xbox Series X console — to setting the PS5’s price. But if Sony follows a similar pricing model for PS5 as it did with the launch of PS4, a price of $499 for PS5 seems possible, if not very likely.

When Sony unveiled first details on the PS5 last year, the console sounded more expensive than the $399.99 PlayStation 4 Pro. But the company said it was targeting an “appealing” price point based on the PS5’s feature set.

We may not know the price of the PlayStation 5 (or the Xbox Series X) until June at the earliest. Microsoft will attend E3 2020, where it’s expected to reveal more details about its next-gen Xbox. Sony said it will skip E3 this year in favor of other consumer events.

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are planned to launch during the holiday quarter this year, and are expected to have similar price points.

Comments

I think that’s fine. Wasn’t the PS3 $500 at release? I’m pretty sure that was 100% sold out for a while. Although the nature of forward/backward compatibility is very different in the context of the PS5 generation, I still think $500 is fine.

$500 is probably fine, but you want to undercut your competitor if possible.

PS3 was 600 and 700 for the pro. It was sold out at launch (with scalpers on ebay getting 2000-3000 for em!) but once initial launch hype died down no one else bought at that price point.

Incorrect. ps3 was 500 for the cheap model and 600 for the ‘pro’

You are correct! My mistake. I must blocked it out of my memory. When it launched, I couldn’t find it in stores so I looked on eBay. Someone had put it up for sale IN MY TOWN. I ran around to all my banks (I was in college, poor) and got cash. Got the guy to take down the posting, and meet me at a coffee shop to do a super shady deal in the parking lot.

But yes, since you are correct, I will amend my statement and say 500 is kinda pushing it.

It’s ancient history so it’s easy to forget; I just find it impossible to forget due to the meme-ability of the awful ps3 press conference "five hundred ninety nine US dollars". It’s hard to say whether the ps3 or the xbox 1 unveiling was worse.

Gee, you’d think that perhaps there’s a lesson in there somewhere. We’ll soon see if Microsoft and Sony have learned it well enough.

Still, $500 for a game console felt a lot more expensive back then than it would now. Even with inflation taken out of the equation, millions of people now buy $1000 phones. It will be considered expensive, yes, but it might not be a deal breaker. All of that will depend on the price of the Xbox Series X. If the cooling system is the culprit for the steep cost of the PS5, the "monolith" approach taken by Microsoft on the Series X’s design might prove to be the right strategy. Its design seems great for cooling.

And with inflation, $500 in 2006 is $640 in 2020 dollars. It flat out was more expensive back then.

The difference is they pay for the phones in installment plans integrated into their phone service bills. Unless you’re suggesting Sony integrate the cost of the PS5 into a PlayStation Plus service contract…

You can also take your phone with you everywhere you go.

As noted elsewhere in this thread, Microsoft are already doing pretty much that with XBox, and there’s no reason why Sony shouldn’t at least consider a PS5/PS Now bundle as well.

It wouldn’t be for everyone, but a reduced up-front cost suits a lot of people, and a couple of years of guaranteed locked-in monthly payments suits a lot of businesses.

Well, Sony was ahead this generation, so expect them to be arrogant and do something stupid, and MS to be gamer-friendly. Should their positions change over the course of the next generation, just flip these predictions for the one after. Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum.

Sony is being squeezed by both Lockhart and Anaconda. they have to price below the Xbox Series X because it’s a lower performance device, but they need to price high enough to not take a bath on costs. Microsoft doesn’t really have to worry as much because they’ll have a lower priced model so they have some freedom to go high on the X for the high end gamers.

Nobody knows what this "lower price model" will do though. I still don’t get what they’re going for since they also have the One X and One.

Rumor is Lockhart disc-less and targeting 1440/60 as opposed to Series X having a UHD drive with a 4K/60 target. Basically they’ll save money by using less ram and not having drives.

But who is it for???

People who who want a cheaper console with some of the new generation technologies like SSD and possibly ray tracing on a console that isn’t held back from a CPU perspective like the Xbox one X is since that was one of the main bottlenecks of that console.

Lockhart will be for people that want a next-gen experience (NVMe M.2 drive, raytracing, etc.) but don’t need to render at 4K. My guess is Lockhart will be the console that Microsoft thinks is what gamers will want at an affordable price and that the Series X model was built as a hedge in case the PS5 had top line specs. Spencer said he wasn’t going to be outclassed in either price or specs. And this way, he wins in specs for Anaconda. And wins in price with Lockhart.

I think Lockhart is going to be a bust, purely on the fact nobody will really get it.

Or people think they get it, like my mom who still insists DVD’s are HD cause they are played on the HDTV

Interesting. All I have to do for HD VHS is hook up the VHS player to an HDTV then?

Yes, keep on true motion while you’re at it. Best quality ever!

If you could play games that look better than the Xbox One X and had things like fast loading and raytracing and HDR and rendered at 60 fps but only rendered at 1440p for $350, you wouldn’t be tempted?

I would… I mean I’m getting top of the line any console cause I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I know almost all the rest of my friends are still running X one original. That Lockhart will be the best seller. I will still pretend I’m having the better experience with my elite 2 and premium everything they push on me… I’ll also be pretty disappointed if Sony can’t come to the 4k table this time, or at least hit steady 60s. Most of last gen I skipped on for Sony because of that.

Depends. Lockhart is an internet only machine. Lots of people who don’t want to download RDR2 on it. And that’s just a current gen game.

I’d follow the same line there as well, everybody I know has technically been on an internet only machine the last decade. Discs were backwards when the gen started, they are absolutely archaic now.

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