Rumours about the price of Sony's upcoming PlayStation 5 console have been doing the rounds for a while now, with suggestions that it could range anywhere from £450 to £860, but the latest official Sony investor call has shed a bit more light on the prospective price, and it seems that the it could land on the more affordable side after all.
Sony's chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, touched on the holiday 2020 launch window saying it's the “most important step in developing the PlayStation platform.” A December release could certainly bolster sales of the console, with big ticket items like a shiny new console making its way under the tree in households that may not usually be early adopters, but are splashing out for the festive season.
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He went on to say that the profitability of the PS5 will, of course, depend on its price. The bigger the markup, the bigger the profit for shareholders and the like, but an eye-wateringly high price point could see the existing PS4 install base hang on to its current gen consoles for a little while longer.
Totoki-san explained that Sony is "analyzing the cost, the acceptable price in the market, and platform penetration,” all of which seems to indicate that the company has set its sights on making the PS5 affordable enough that it'll be off to a running start, rather than being so expensive as to leave gamers hesitant to fork out for the upgrade to next gen. He added that Sony is still “very conscious of the level of profit for investors and for the marketplace.”
With the possibility of two PS5 consoles launching side-by-side, offering up a pro version alongside a base model, Sony could position the cheaper option as an affordable step up for the majority of people, while the pro version could be sporting a much higher price. But given the specs already revealed for the console, it's difficult to see what a more expensive version could offer.
Either way, we're just pleased that it's looking more and more likely that the PS5 will launch for under £500, and that we can maybe persuade someone else to pick up the bill - it will be Christmas after all.
After all, for months now we'be been getting more and more concerned that Sony was about to fall into the same trap with the PS5 that they did with the PS3. Coming off the back of a console generation where they had beaten the competition with the incredible Sony PS2, the Japanese console maker proceeded to price the PS3 at launch at $600 and, well, the rest is history.
The massively high cost put many gamers off, despite the fact that the system came loaded with a, for the time, state-of-the-art Blu-ray player. The poor sales were exacerbated by a poor launch line-up and, truth be told, underwhelming first year. The PS3 did recover somewhat, but Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply cleaned up that generation, delivering gamers what they wanted, games, games and more games.
And, with Sony now coming off a generation where the PS4 outsold the Xbox One by a factor of 2-to-1, and those rumours started to fly that the PS5 was going to cost much more money than the PS4 did at launch, and it seemed like history was about to repeat itself. This is why these comments by Totoki-san have led us to breathe such a sigh of relief here at T3, as while investors and the company will have to be protected somewhat by a modest console pricing (top gaming hardware doesn't come free), it looks like Sony is looking to keep thing affordable for gamers, too.
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