I’m putting the old rumor warning at the beginning of this. It’s from Bloomberg, but there are so many things that might not be set yet with unknown sources, that it makes sense to be cautious and take anything with a grain of salt until we have firm dates and actual communication from Sony. Now back to your regular program…
A new article from Bloomberg today states that Sony will not be producing as many PS5 consoles as it did for the PS4. For perspective, the PS4 sold 7.5 million consoles in the first two quarters, and Sony is telling manufacturers to plan on 5 – 6 million total units through March 2021, the end of its fiscal year. Production is scheduled to begin in June, and Jim Ryan is still planning for a worldwide, simultaneous launch. So why would the market leader produce fewer units?
There’s a handful of reasons for this, but the biggest is that the PS5 will be expensive. The pricing rumors have been all over the place, but Bloomberg says game developers think it will target between $450-$549 USD. Macquarie Capital analyst, Damian Thong, believes the consoles will be sold at $450. This would be a loss, but competition is very intense between Sony and Microsoft. Neither wants to give up an advantage during the critical launch phase of a new generation. Despite both being safely in the general ballpark of every other rumor, I won’t believe it until I see it.
Instead, Sony will be literally banking on services to keep up revenues. The PS4 may receive a discount to bring in more customers and entice them into the ecosystem with PlayStation Now and PS Plus until the PS5 production is up or until the first price drop of the new console’s lifecycle. Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida is already on record saying (I’m paraphrasing here) they want to keep that sweet cash flow coming as opposed to a one and done cash extraction for the console purchase.
Of course, we still have the impacts of the c-virus on manufacturing as well. For now, Sony still intends to release the console at the end of year, but operations have been greatly impacted. If it continues, it could cause fewer consoles due to delays in decision making as much as manufacturing. They are also internally worried that game development for the new console has been pushed back too, so you won’t need a new console to play games that aren’t there.
The marketing for Sony has been impacted too, since they haven’t been able to have their pomp and circumstance reveals with tons of people. This and a fear of info leaks is why they dumped the reveal of the controller last week. It had already been sent to developers, and we’ve seen how secrecy is easily lost. The console form factor has only been seen by a small, select group, so they still control that reveal. For now.
If what sources are telling Bloomberg is true, this will be a difficult new generation for gaming companies and gamers. That flashy new tech comes at a price. If you do see one in the wild, it won’t be an impulse purchase, and it may be prudent to hang onto your PS4 for a while longer anyway. No one really knows for sure what the price will be. For now, save those pennies and keep scanning the news for any additional details like everyone else.
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Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.