PS5 price: Sony reportedly struggling to lower ‘$450’ manufacturing costs
Report claims PS5 price plans impacted by a scarcity of components
Sony is reportedly struggling to determine the PlayStation 5 price due to a shortage of components resulting in increased manufacturing costs.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, the company is facing stiff competition from smartphone makers to ensure a reliable supply of DRAM and NAND flash memory, with parts shortages driving the manufacturing costs for the next-gen console up to around $450 per unit.
While the platform holder declined to comment on the claims, some PlayStation executives reportedly feel the company should sell PS5 at a loss if required to match the Xbox Series X price, while other Sony leaders would prefer to profit on each unit sold, as was the case with PS4.
During Sony’s third quarter earnings call this month, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki suggested the company had yet to finalise the PlayStation 5 price as it attempts to balance its position based on several known and unknown factors.
Chief among the latter will be Microsoft’s Xbox Series X pricing plans, with both consoles due to launch during the 2020 holiday season.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said the company “will not be out of position on power or price” when it comes to competing with PS5.
Bloomberg claims Sony may wait for Microsoft to show its hand first, potentially at E3 2020 in June, an event Sony will not be attending.
Most of the PS5 components have been finalised, Bloomberg’s sources said, including an “unusually expensive” cooling system at a few dollars per unit.
Sony’s plans haven’t been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and it has yet to nail down how many PS5 units it will manufacture in the first year, the report adds.
Bloomberg also claims Sony plans to launch a next-gen PlayStation VR headset after PS5 hits the market.
While “the current PS VR headset is compatible” with PS5, a recently uncovered patent suggested the company was exploring plans to release a successor to the device, which launched in October 2016 and has sold some five million units.
Another interesting claim in Bloomberg’s report is that Sony executives feel they’re able to take a wait-and-see approach to PS5 pricing as they anticipate the transition from PS4 to the new console being “a gradual one”.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan previously said the platform holder’s ambition is to transition players from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 “at a scale and pace that we’ve never delivered on before”.
He also told Business Insider in January: “At the time of the migration from PS4 to PS5, there will still be a huge number of PS4 users, which is very important and we have obligations to them.
“We have to come up with new appeals. This year will be a more difficult and special year than the launch of previous game consoles.”
PlayStation 4 had shipped 108.9 million units as of December 31, 2019, with more than 106 million units sold through to consumers.
Sony launched the PlayStation 5 section of its official website this month, although the company said it’s “not quite ready to fully unveil” the next generation of PlayStation.