Loyal PlayStation gamers currently scrimping and saving every last dollar so they are ready to ring up a Sony PS5 for launch may very well need a much bigger piggy bank.
That's because the much-anticipated new PlayStation 5 console has just gone up for pre-order at MediaMarkt Sweden for an eye-watering 9999 Swedish Krona, which converts as a wallet-breaking $1,047 (£859.73).
This price, if accurate, will no doubt be a disorientating sucker punch to Sony fans who had been buoyed by respected Sony analyst Hideki Yasuda's earlier prediction that the PS5 would launch in November 2020 with a very approachable starting price of $499 (£410).
At that price the PlayStation 5 would be available at $100 more than the Sony PS4 launched at, which has gone on to dominate the current console generation, selling over twice the units as the Xbox One, but $100 less than the top-spec PS3 hit store shelves at. And lest we all forget, that $599 PS3 price was a disaster for Sony, turning away gamers and helping the Microsoft Xbox 360 easily win the generation.
The good news for gamers, though, is that MediaMarkt Sweden state that its "PS5 info is temporary and can be changed for release", so we're guessing that those alterations can include its price as well as its listed specs and features. That said, though, you can currently add the PS5 console to your basket and proceed to checkout at the store, with even the option to insure the console (see below image).
That raises the question of just how confident MediaMarkt is in its pre-order pricing, and now how confident we can all be about just how much the Sony PS5 console is going to retail for when it arrives next year.
Over $1,000 seems a ludicrously high price point for a console considering the industry's average pricing history for a new system, with even the Formula 1 of consoles back in the day, the Neo-Geo AES, being introduced at $649.99 in the US. Sony would, literally, be setting records if the PlayStation 5 launches with a price point of close to or over a grand.
On the face of it, that pricing seems very unlikely. Why would Sony alienate and shut out what would end up being a huge swathe of their existing users with a console that costs twice the price of the PS4? Surely, if anything, that would cause heads to turn towards Microsoft's Xbox Scarlett range of consoles, which has already been called to include a super-cheap, streaming-only console.
In reality, it's likely that this price is a super-play-it-safe placeholder that MediaMarkt has slapped down so it can start hoovering up pre-orders from gaming enthusiasts in Sweden, while also protecting itself from having to change a pre-order price upwards after the official reveal.
By pricing the console so highly, when the official price comes through (which we feel will almost certainly be much lower), it will then adjust the pre-order cost downwards, either charging for the new lower fee or refunding the customer the difference.
Regardless, though, it is interesting considering just how cheap Sony can make the PS5, and even as a loss leader, as it is absolutely rammed with top-end hardware. Can a system loaded with a ray tracing-capable Radeon GPU, a 7nm AMD Ryzen CPU, rapid SSD storage, a custom 3D audio processing unit and buckets of RAM really retail for under $500? We're not so sure.