While the information on the console and games is starting to flow a little faster now, the PS5 price seems to be one of the last things Sony wants to talk about. But that doesn't mean we're completely in the dark about what to expect and in terms of eventual PS5 pre-orders. And considering what we saw from the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo, the best is yet to come; actual footage of a game engine running on an actual PS5. Those are some incredible visuals and seamless complexity; all things we can look forward to in next-gen games.
And let's face it, seeing as Sony hasn't even shown off the console design yet, the lack of a locked-down PS5 price isn't that surprising. Not to mention the Xbox Series X pre-order price hasn't been confirmed either as both companies are clearly hoping the other will blink first. But hey, if they want to undercut each other, that's good news for us gamers. Things are getting better though, we recently got a first look at the brand new DualSense PS5 controller.
The latest rumors point to a PS5 reveal event on June 4, where we're expecting to finally see some games in action, although as to whether we'll finally see the console design itself is anyone's guess. An earlier 'reveal' event focused heavily on the internal hardware, which you can really dive into with our guide to the PS5 specs.
That extensive specs breakdown did give us an inkling of the PS5 price band though, mainly that it may well be more expensive than we thought. Especially given the blistering speeds offered by the SSD storage system that might even give loading speeds from insanely expensive PCs some serious competition. If you want a little taste of how SSDs can speed up your life, be sure to check out our guide to the best PS4 SSD.
The PS5 price could also have been much higher if Sony had opted for a larger SSD. That's because it's a less expensive 825GB model (we expected a 1TB one originally), with a focus on boosting it with separate hard drives to reduce the overall cost of the console. Although it wasn't confirmed, that implies the PS5 cost shouldn't be as crippling as it could be - many SSDs are hundreds of dollars, after all. And despite that being a smaller number than the 1TB NVMe SSD seen in the Xbox Series X specs.
There are murmurs of Sony releasing a limited batch of initial PS5 stock so we've just got to hope we can get our mitts on when it comes out. This is due to coronavirus, and it's far from clear how deep the impact is and whether it'll also spread to the Xbox Series X. The same news piece also indicated the PS5 price could be in the $499-$549 bracket but this is only citing sources 'close to Sony', so it's thin stuff to go on.
Nonetheless, if you'll indulge us a little, let's have a good old speculate. We've put together a rough idea of the PS5 price based on what we already know about its specs, and we've written up those carefully-considered suspicions in detail further down this page. First up though, let's talk PS5 bundles.
Where can I pre-order a PS5?
Nowhere yet of course. But unless there really is a limited number of consoles available at launch due to Coronavirus-related limitations on manufacturing and shipping you should be able to put a PS5 pre-order down at the usual favorites.
In the US, Amazon will be the most popular pick thanks to its vast network and super fast shipping options. Walmart and Best Buy will also be taking orders and you'll probably also have the option of picking up in-store. GameStop will be struggling to keep the lights on by November, but they'll certainly be taking orders both online and in-store.
In the UK, Amazon again will be a hot spot for stock and we also expect a fairly wide range of other online retailers to be taking orders. Argos, Game and Currys will surely have stock online and in stores too. Smaller online stores like Very and AO.com will be worth a look too.
Will I have to pay upfront for a PS5 pre-order?
At most, we'd expect in-store reservations for a PS5 pre-order to require a deposit between $50-$100/£50-£100. As for online orders we wouldn't expect them to take money from your account until your PS5 bundle is shipped, but do look out for any mentions of a deposit being taken at the time of ordering - things might be different this time. But don't forget, your deposit comes off the final price.
If any online retailers want payment in full way before release date, we'd arguably shop around as that's not regular practice at most stores. And given margins on gaming console are ridiculously small, if any pre-order price looks suspiciously good, it may well be bogus. Stick with the stores you know, as we will be doing on this page once PS5 pre-orders are live - we only link to tried and tested stores that we'd be happy ordering from ourselves.
What PS5 bundles and deals is Sony launching with?
Given there are barely any announced games for PS5 yet, we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves here - we have had a speculative look at what upcoming PS5 games could be on their way this year though.
As with any console launch, there will, of course, be PS5 bundles from retailers. We wouldn't expect massive discounts on the PS5s bundled with software though - if any. That's just the reality of launch windows.
We do expect Assassin's Creed Valhalla and the inevitable FIFA 21 and new Call of Duty to get bespoke PS5 bundles with the game included in the box. Hopefully, Sony will continue the tradition of its bundles coming with physical copies as that adds essential resale value. Microsoft went the other way with the Xbox One bundles for the last few years focussing on download codes only. Nintendo is the same with Switch bundles. We really wouldn't be that surprised to see Sony give in and go the same way with PS5 pre-order bundles. Fingers crossed though, otherwise, we might all be needing a new broadband deal to download those gargantuan install files!
Some retailers might want to edge an advantage outside of bundled PS5 games though and offer something else worth your while. Maybe a free few months of PlayStation Plus, a Spotify Premium subscription, or maybe a charging dock for the DualSense controller. PS5 pre-orders haven't even officially begun yet, but we'll keep you posted right here or you can even sign up for hot-off-the-press news updates below.
PS5 price - when will we know more?
Why hasn't Sony announced the PS5 pre-order prices yet? A recent third-quarter earnings call at Sony hints at their reasoning for playing coy. As CFO Hiroki Totoki explained, "because we are competing in the space, [...] 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.”
It's not hard to read between the lines here. With Microsoft yet to confirm the Xbox Series X price, Sony isn't quite ready to commit to a PS5 price either. And as for them determining the "costs" it's willing to pay, it sounds like a decision has yet to be made if Sony is willing to cut into its profit line on each console sold. We imagine Sony will want to avoid selling the console at a loss as it did with the PlayStation 3 at launch.
There's no denying the Coronavirus pandemic is giving both Sony and Microsoft pause for thought too, especially with E3 being canceled recently. In reality, we expect it'll be around June/July that we'll see an official PS5 price. And just because E3 is off, doesn't mean there won't be red hot reveals, you might even see some at our upcoming Future Games Show.
PS5 price - how much will it cost?
The PS5 price was certainly a hot topic during an older investor call with Sony's chief financial officer where PlayStation is "analyzing the cost, the acceptable price in the market, and platform penetration" to figure out what their new system should sell for.
That focus on "acceptable" PS5 cost gives us hope that it won't cost a bomb. In fact, it adds to our suspicion that the PS5 pre-orders will launch somewhere between $400-$500 / £400-£500. That would be incredible value as the PS5 is shaping up to rival the best gaming PCs in terms of tech and definitely gives Microsoft's console a run for its money.
Sony is teaming up with hardware giant AMD again to create a best-in-class experience - it's been confirmed that we're getting a modified third-generation Ryzen 3 CPU and advanced Navi-based graphics that'll enable ray tracing (a supremely fancy lighting system). The real game-changer for the specs is the addition of an SSD, though. This will slash load times by a considerable amount.
Let's talk specifics. Wired author, Peter Rubin, has released a few unpublished details from his interview with PS5 architect Mark Cerny, speculating about the price of the PlayStation 5 console. You can see the full Tweet below, but the interesting part of the quote is that Cerny claims the suggested retail price will be "appealing to gamers". Which could mean that your more casual crowd might pause for thought when seeing those PS5 pre-order prices. We were never expecting it to be impulse-purchase territory though.
Me: There's always been a general range of launch pricing. Will the next console hew to that range?@cerny: I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.(cont'd)April 16, 2019
So yes, that suggests it could be higher than the $399 launch of the PS4, and be closer to the $599 mark (which the PS3 clocked in at). However, we here think it really is up in the air at the moment: does Sony think it's got enough capital with fans to hike the launch price of the PS5 so high? Or perhaps they can keep it lower now with more income coming in from PlayStation Plus memberships. And surely PS Now is set to improve to take on the incredible value offered by Xbox Game Pass.
Let's err on the side of caution though - 500-600 dollars sounds like a lot, right? Well, let's take a quick look at how much you might have to spend to build the equivalent gaming PC.
What's inside the PS5 and how it'll impact pricing
Let's do a bit of maths based on really rough estimates, to see what the PS5 price would be to just create right now. The biggest expense on PS5 is likely to be two-fold: graphics processing, and the SSD storage. Let's look at the GPU first. Right now, you'd be looking at an RTX 2080 equivalent graphics card to handle ray tracing at any kind of decent frame rate and resolution, although we know that Radeon cards can now produce the same effect, and they're a little cheaper at consumer level. Even so, to produce ray tracing even at 4K (before we get to the 8K Sony has claimed) you need a powerful chip like a Radeon VII, or whatever the Navi equivalent will be inside the PS5. Rumors suggest that the next generation of Navi chip will have a dedicated ray tracing core, so let's just assume that's happening for now.
Right now, for the GPU alone, you'd be looking at $800 for something that can handle 4K gaming at 30fps and medium-high settings. Given the strides in GPU development, factored against the inevitable drop in price, you'd maybe be looking at a Navi chip that could produce 30fps at 8K, and 60fps at 4K by around September 2020 (on medium-high-ish settings), if they can make something that small and that efficient. I'd expect the price of something in consumer PCs to be roughly the same, if a little less. It's silly math, really.
Now, that SSD... Right now, if you go bargain hunting, you'll pay $350 for a 1TB NVMe SSD from the likes of Samsung. We're looking at the 970 Pro for reference. Sure, you can get cheaper, but Sony is claiming that the PS5's SSD will outperform all current PC SSDs, which is a bold claim. Let's assume you picked up a 1TB SSD (although, if you're looking to install 4K or 8K assets, you really need 2-4TB), and assume that the falling price of SSDs will offset the increased performance of PS5's innards, you'll be looking to pay $350 for the equivalent SSD in late 2020. So, already, that's a $1000+ build. Before you take other parts into account. We assume 32GB of RAM minimum, a Ryzen 7 equivalent CPU with 8 cores (which we know about), and all the cooling, power, wireless tech, and casing required to keep everything together... that's another $500-800 at least. Again, the math is so imprecise, but you'd likely be looking at a $1500-1800 equivalent PC.
Now. Back in 2013 Extremetech built a gaming PC that was roughly equivalent to PS4 (which launched in 2013) for roughly the same price as it was at launch. Nice work, even if you factor the fact PS4 included several features like controllers that were extra. There's no doubt stuff like time, efficiency, and - crucially - mass production will decrease the cost of PS5's core components, but I seriously doubt you'd be able to build an equivalent PC in 2020 for the price Sony will have to retail PS5 at to make it viable. Worst case scenario, you'd look at $599 (famously, PS3's entry point), but realistically it's going to be $500 (maybe $400 ish) if it wants to at least compete with other devices like the next Xbox, current-gen PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, and Shadow PC and Stadia.
Elsewhere, the news about the fancy DualSense controller is eyebrow-raising and another reason we expect the PS5 price to make us wince a little. The haptic feedback and rumble tech is going to replace the traditional vibrations and rumblings we've had for a long time and introduce something much more nuanced, increasing immersion in games literally through touch and feel. The adaptive triggers will also seek to increase immersion by offering differing resistance depending on what you're doing in-game, like drawing a bow or making a shotgun trigger feel different to that of an assault rifle.
What history tells us about PS5's price
Famously, when it launched on November 15, 2013 in the USA, a first edition PS4 would have set you back $399. Had you purchased the console on day one, as one million people did in North America alone, and there was just one configuration being sold: a black model with a 500GB of storage. When the PS4 Pro touched down almost exactly three years later, Sony priced it at $399 too. After the introduction of the Pro the vanilla price of the then-standard PS4 Slim standard model officially dropped to $299 and the 500GB hard-drive was replaced with a 1TB version.
Given the lucrative success of the PS4 and its professional-grade counterpart, it would come as no surprise if Sony wanted to keep PS5's price similar. However, judging by Cerny's comments, that doesn't seem likely to be the case. Ambition seems to be outweighing financial prudence, and Sony clearly thinks it has built up the PlayStation brand enough to build a more advanced PS5 and demand more money for it. And when millions of people around the world regularly spend close to $1000 on the latest mobile phones from the likes of Apple and Samsung, you can't blame them for aiming high.
One PS5 or two?
Or as Digital Trends writer Gabe Gurwin put it in a recent conversation, "I think it will be just one SKU. They don’t want customers to think they’re missing out by purchasing a brand new console. If they do a Pro launch again, it’ll be at least two years later."
With the exception of Mr. Spohn, virtually everyone we asked about their PS5 price forecasts responded with the same figure: $400. While some of our peers suggested it'll be subsidized, therefore "free" with the purchase of an extensive PlayStation Plus and/or PlayStation Now subscription (like a phone contract), our convictions remain unshaken. More likely, PS5 will offer a standard home console price, with additional subs functionality, like the expansion of PS Now or PS Plus. Sony has the infrastructure to offer games streaming, and can potentially offer both options - either in the same console or via different variants.