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Former Xbox executive says there’s ‘no way’ the PS5 is more than $499

Published Jun 15th, 2020 9:54AM EDT
PS5 price announce
Image: Sony

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  • Sony has yet to announce the price of the PS5 yet, but former Xbox marketing boss Albert Penello says there’s “no way” the next-gen console costs more than $499.
  • Penello helped oversee the launches of the Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Xbox One, which was soundly beaten by the PS4 due to the $100 price difference at launch.
  • Sony has more PS5 events planned for the coming months ahead of its holiday 2020 release.

The Future of Gaming showcase last Thursday was precisely what Sony needed to do to get fans excited about the PlayStation 5. Sony had been uncharacteristically quiet for the first five months of the year, but over the course of an hour, we got to see dozens of games that will be launching on the next-gen console in the coming months and years, many of which will be exclusive to the PS5. We also were introduced to the hardware — with and without a disc drive — which, at the very least, got people talking. But there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

Chief among them: How much will the PS5 cost? We want to know what the user interface looks like and how many games will be available to play on launch day, but the price will be the determining factor for countless consumers this fall, and even Sony has seemingly been preparing gamers for a steep price tag. But, shortly after the event last week, a reliable source chimed in with an educated guess about the PS5’s price.

In a series of tweets last Thursday evening, former Xbox marketing boss Albert Penello responded to a rumor about the PS5 being priced at $600. Having been involved in the launches of the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, Penello obviously has more insight than any of us into how decisions like these are made. If he’s that convinced that Sony can’t price the PS5 over $500, that’s probably more noteworthy than any sketchy Amazon leak.

Shortly before that, Penello predicted that price would decide the winner of the next home console generation.

“Price in this generation may be the most important indicator of success. Maybe even more than exclusives,” he said. “There has never been a more divergent set of specs, features, and price points [than] I think we’re going to see this gen. It will be fascinating. Someone should write a book.”

As we’ve stated on multiple occasions, the launch price of the PS4 (combined with Microsoft’s confusing messaging ahead of the launch of the Xbox One) was the driving force behind Sony’s overwhelming success over the last seven years. After Sony similarly screwed up the launch of the PS3 in 2006, Microsoft had as much momentum as ever with the Xbox One. But all of that steam evaporated in November 2013, and now Microsoft’s getting desperate for another win. Therefore, Sony can’t lose the price war, at least not by much, which is why it’s hard to imagine the PS5 costing more than $499 when it hits store shelves this holiday season, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.