We’re still eagerly anticipating a PlayStation 5 price announcement, but speculation seems to ebb and flow in enthusiast circles, with the delay of Halo: Infinite this week seemingly bringing a fresh round of concern regarding the cost of Sony’s next-gen console. And infamous Games Beat reporter Jeff Grubb, who’s been a very vocal figure this year, has suggested the system could cost upwards of $500.
Speculating as part of a podcast, he said: “I think they’re going to do everything in their power to hit $500, but they’re going to be losing money. I thought the Xbox Series X was more expensive to make, but now talking to people it sounds like the PS5 is more expensive and less powerful.” He continued that the exotic nature of the PS5 could lead to some differences in multiformat titles at launch.
It’s a sentiment that’s been shared around the web elsewhere, with fellow “insider” Dusk Golem recently claiming that Capcom was having some issues with the initial development of Resident Evil Village on PS5. Speaking about pricing, he said: “People should get ready for the really real possibility that the PS5 is going to end up being the more expensive console between the two.”
He added: “I’m trying not to say much here as I was asked not to but prepare yourself, which does put Xbox Series X in a position it'll be the less expensive and more powerful console. I used [Resident Evil Village] as an example, but I've heard from other developers that PS5 struggles with 4K games in particular so you'll see a lot of fake 4K. That doesn't matter to some, but get ready for that too.”
Of course, no one’s really discussing the fact that Sony actually increased production of the PS5 earlier in the year, and now plans to manufacture 10 million units by the end of March 2021 – after it had initially targeted between 5 and 6 million units. It’s hard to imagine it selling those kind of numbers with a price higher than $500.
According to Bloomberg, the PS5’s bill of materials sits at around $450, and a quick browse of Sony’s financial forecast for the coming year suggests that it’s planning a small loss with hardware. This is because it’s predicting a substantial jump in revenue to reflect the new console’s release, but only a small increase in operating profit.
There’s no doubt that the next-gen consoles are going to be pricey, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft managed to undercut the cost of Sony’s system, but we’re not overly worried about a PS3 era-esque blunder here. The Japanese giant has doubled production because it believes it can shift a significant number of units, and it won’t do that at an outrageous price point.