Sony is reportedly struggling to keep the PS5 retail price low

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony is reportedly playing wait-and-see with Microsoft before it moves to reveal its own PS5 price for the holiday 2020 launch. That news comes via multiple sources who spoke to Bloomberg on conditions of anonymity. 

According to the unnamed sources, scarcity of particular internal parts in the PS5 is driving the price up on the production line, and Sony may choose to pass the buck onto consumers. The sources say the current unit price of the PS5 is about $450, which some in the company worry may already seem too steep to some potential buyers.

Allegedly, Sony executives are split, with some wanting to sell the console at a profit, even if it’s a slight one, while others are suggesting the company sells each unit at a loss and makes up the difference from subscriptions and software. It’s not uncommon for console manufacturers to do this, and Xbox’s Phil Spencer has said before that the real money in being a console manufacturer is just getting people into your ecosystem, not unit sales. Sony debuted the PS4 at $399 and estimates at that time put the cost per unit at $381, so the company hardly made money off of each PS4 sold.

For now, the company is said to be playing wait-and-see, hoping Microsoft will reveal the price of Xbox Series X soon and then price the PS5 based off of that information. The PS4 undercut the Kinect-required Xbox One in 2013 by a whopping $100, which was one of several factors that helped PS4 jump out to a big lead in the current console generation. It’s a lead the company never relinquished, but with Xbox Game Pass far outpacing PS Now, it’s interesting to wonder how much Xbox will really care about its own unit pricing if the next generation is to be won by ecosystems, and especially if reports prove true and a cheaper version of the next-gen Xbox is on the way alongside the Series X.

In addition to the current pricing problem, the same sources reaffirmed what we’ve heard earlier: a new PSVR headset is also on the way, though it’s tentatively scheduled to release some time after the PS5. So whatever the price of PS5 ends up being, take comfort in knowing it should run the inevitable Astro Bot 2 just fine.

For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games for 2020 and beyond, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options below. 

Freelance Journalist

Mark Delaney is a prolific copywriter and journalist. Having contributed to publications like GamesRadar+ and Official Xbox Magazine, writing news, features, reviews, and guides, he has since turned his eye to other adventures in the industry. In 2019, Mark became OpenCritic's first in-house staff writer, and in 2021 he became the guides editor over at GameSpot.