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Sony’s struggling with PS5 pricing, and devices like the Galaxy S20 might be to blame

Published Feb 14th, 2020 7:31AM EST
PS5 Price
Image: Iren Key/Shutterstock

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Several leaks said Sony would unveil the PlayStation 5 in February, just like it did with its predecessor back in 2013, but that hasn’t happened. A February PS5 reveal event sounds unlikely at this point. Sony is yet to send out invites for the press conference, and a new report says the company might have a bigger problem on its hands. The console maker hasn’t decided the PS5 price, the report notes, which should have been settled this month. And it looks like mobile devices, including the Galaxy S20 series that Samsung just unveiled, might be to blame for Sony’s PS5 pricing struggles.

PS5 manufacturing costs may be as high as $450 per unit, people familiar with the console’s development told Bloomberg. Back in 2013, the $399 PS4 costs $381 to manufacture, according to estimates, which gave Sony a tiny margin on each sale. Assuming Sony wants to keep the same profit, a $450 manufacturing cost would mean the device would have cost at least $470.

Such a high price tag might be a tough sell for buyers, the report notes, considering the PS4 Pro costs $399.99, but it’s often discounted. However, I’ll point out that gamers shouldn’t forget the fact that the PS5 will deliver performance well beyond the PS4 Pro’s capabilities, which could warrant the price hike. As I’ve told you before, $499, which is the rumored price of the PS5 so far, would make plenty of sense. It’s likely impossible to build your own PC gaming rig yourself with equivalent parts for less than $499.

The report says the company’s biggest headache represents RAM and NAND flash memory, which is gobbled up by smartphone makers that are launching new 5G phones this year. Such a device is the Galaxy S20, which ships with at least 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Samsung’s biggest rivals area also about to unveil plenty of S20 competitors, which should rock at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, according to existing leaks and early announcements.

Bloomberg also says the PS5 will feature another expensive component, compared to the PS4 line. That’s a new cooling system that will cost a few dollars per unit, rather than less than a dollar. Sony, apparently, wants to make sure heat dissipation won’t be a problem for the system, which is another indication that the new console will be incredibly powerful. Most of the other components for the console have been locked down, the sources said.

The coronavirus outbreak, meanwhile, has no impact on PS5 production preparations, the sources said. Manufacturing could start in the spring, as it was the case with the PS4, but after Sony finalizes the price.

The company may be waiting for Microsoft to make its first move when it comes to 2020 console pricing. The Xbox Series X price tag might be unveiled in June at E3, an event that Sony is snubbing for the second consecutive year. Aside from the price, Sony also has to decide on how many PS5 units to manufacture in the first year.

The report doesn’t say anything about Sony’s PS5 launch event, however, so we’re all back to waiting.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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