The next PlayStation is easily one of the most hotly anticipated new products of 2020, considering the massive success of its predecessor. Sony first started revealing PS5 features last year, without actually delivering any specifics. We know the console will feature a powerful CPU/GPU combo, as well as much faster storage than before. On top of that, some of the DualShock 5’s new features have also been revealed. But Sony stayed away from offering actual specifics about the PS5. The console’s design and the full set of specs remain a mystery, and we have no idea when the console will launch or how much it’ll cost. That said, Sony just went on record to say that it hasn’t yet decided on the PlayStation 5’s price. And while we have no idea how much it’ll end up costing, there’s a good reason to believe that Sony’s indecision is actually good news.
Several rumors said in the past few weeks that the PS5 will cost $499, which sounds like a reasonable price for a next-generation gaming rig at launch. Sony might take a loss at first, just as it did when the PS4 started selling in late 2013, but it would turn the console into a money-making device in the years that follow.
After saying a few months ago that affordability is one of the factors Sony is taking into account when it comes to pricing the new console, Sony addressed the PS5 price tag again during an earnings call with analysts. Here’s what Sony’s chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki had to say about the PS5’s price during the call on Tuesday, via SpielTimes:
What is not very clear or visible is because we are competing in the space, so it’s very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this point of time and depending upon the price level, we may have to determine the promotion that we are going to deploy and how much costs we are prepared to pay.
He went on to elaborate on the costs involved in manufacturing the console:
First, we must absolutely control the labor cost, the personnel cost, it must be controlled, and the initial ramp-up, how much can we prepare initially, we will work on the production and the sales and we will have to prepare the right volume as we launch this.
The exec added that it’s all about balancing things out. “It’s a balancing act it’s very difficult to say anything concrete at this point of time,” Totoki said. He added that Sony is looking for the “best balance so that we will be profitable in the life, during the life of this product.”
Sony might not be ready to reveal the price, but it sure sounds like the company is sending a clear message that the PS5 won’t be overpriced. Totoki practically told us that Sony is ready to take a financial hit on the PS5 at first, and then work on turning it into a profitable device. If the PS5 will sell as well as the PS4 did, then Sony shouldn’t have a problem — PlayStation 4 sales are nearing the 110 million mark.
It’s also worth noting that acknowledging the price of an unreleased product during an earnings call is something no company would do. Sony will definitely reveal all the PS5’s hot new features before covering pricing.