Component scarcity and wanting Xbox to make the first move are keeping Sony’s PS5 pricing decision on hold for right now.
The PS5 page on PlayStation’s website went live a couple weeks ago, but there wasn’t much of substance on it, just a message that Sony wasn’t “quite ready to fully unveil the next generation of PlayStation.”
According to a report from Bloomberg tech writer Takashi Mochizuki, that might be because the electronics giant is still trying to figure out how much its next-gen console should cost.
A scarcity of components, wrote Mochizuki, have brought PS5 manufacturing costs to around $450 per unit, leading the company to take a “wait-and-see” approach toward determining the console’s retail price. The PS5 will launch this Holiday around the same time as Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, and the price point Microsoft sets will be a key factor for the number Sony decides on, according to Mochizuki’s sources within the PlayStation business unit.
Microsoft may not announce that information until E3 in June, however, and the timeline for the PS5’s announced Holiday 2020 launch is only getting tighter.
By comparison, the PlayStation 4 was officially announced in Feb. 2013, had a launch lineup, price and release date set by E3 a few months later, then launched in November. Granted, Sony seems set on marching to the beat of its own drum this time around, opting to pass on E3 for the second straight year, and rolling out PS5 plans much more on their terms (so much so that just the logo is one its biggest known pieces of information to this point).
In fact, there seems to be a much more patient approach being taken with the PS5 in general, as Mochizuki wrote that Sony executives are anticipating a gradual transition away from the PS4. Many of the PS5’s launch games, according to Mochizuki’s sources, will be playable on both platforms as a result.
Driving up the PS5’s manufacturing costs, according to the Bloomberg report, are ensuring a steady supply of DRAM and NAND flash memory — both in high demand because of smartphone production — and a more expensive than usual cooling system to ensure that there are no problems with consoles overheating.
Also noted was the coronavirus outbreak, which has impacted the production of other companies, but hasn’t had any effect on Sony’s plans for PS5 production as of yet.
Additionally, the report revealed that plans for a new version of the PlayStation VR headset are on the cards, but that it won’t come along until after the PS5 hits store shelves.