• What if the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition prices were a lot lower than estimates? That’s what a survey asked fans.
  • Some customers received Nielsen questionnaires proposing random pricing for the unreleased PlayStation 5 consoles, and the surveys leaked online.
  • It’s unclear what the surveys are for, but the suggested PS5 prices could translate into significant losses for Sony.

We were unsure a few months ago that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will launch this holiday season, as the first phase of the novel coronavirus pandemic halted manufacturing in China, as well as travel between continents. But as the months passed, both Sony and Microsoft made it clear that the PS5 and Series X will meet their holiday 2020 launch window. Reports said the consoles could be in short supply during the Christmas quarter. Microsoft publicly acknowledged that the COVID-19 health crisis will impact console sales, suggesting it’s already accounting for lower sales than usual. But neither company is so far willing to share the key detail that could make or break new PlayStation and Xbox models this fall: The price.

Rumors so far favor Microsoft, which is supposedly looking to undercut the PS5 with the Series X. Add to that the Xbox All Access program, and Microsoft does have a massive advantage over Sony. Not to mention that the cheaper Series S console is said to start at just $200 in a best-case scenario. Meanwhile, the consensus on the PS5 is that the regular model will cost $499, or $100 more than the Digital Edition. But a survey just teased a PS5 price point that’s just too good to be true.

A Redditor posted the following screenshot, via NotebookCheck, that shows “random pricing” for the PS5:

PS5 Price Nielsen Survey
Screenshot shows a Nielsen survey that indicates random pricing for PS5 consoles.

Here’s what that quote says, emphasis ours:

As mentioned in the product description, the pricing of this new product (PlayStation 5) has not yet been determined. For the purposes of this survey, we will assign you random pricing. Please take this random pricing into consideration at the following questions.

The random prices for this new product (PlayStation 5) that you will evaluate are PlayStation 5: £349; PlayStation 5 Digital Edition: £259.

Nielsen doesn’t know the price of the PS5, and it’s probably gauging user interest based on several price points that are apparently assigned randomly to respondents. But we can certainly speculate on these figures.

A £349 ($436) PS5 and £259 ($323) do sound too good to be true. Could Sony afford to sell any of the two consoles that low without taking a considerable loss? A report said a few months ago, the PS5 could cost $450 to manufacture.

We’ll remind you that the UK factors in VAT tax for all products, so the conversion to US dollars will not give you an actual price for the US. The PS4 original price was $399 without tax for the US, and £349 with tax (or $436) for the UK. Therefore, a £349 PS5 could cost $399 in the US. Sony would take at least a $50 loss on the regular version if that $450 bill of materials is accurate. The £259 PS5 Digital Edition could be priced at $299 in the US. The loss on the Digital Edition would be even more significant. The two consoles are expected to pack the exact same hardware setup, except for the Blu-ray disk. So the main components, including the CPU, GPU, and custom SSD, would be just as pricey.

Factors like the health crisis and Microsoft’s aggressive pricing strategy for the Xbox could determine Sony to surprise fans with a much lower price point for the PS5 consoles. But the random pricing above still looks too good to be true. If the Digital Edition can somehow start at $299, the Series S could indeed sell as low as $199.

Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to announce official prices, preorder, and release dates for the two consoles at some point in the coming months.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.