As we approach the PS5's third birthday, it seems like Sony's console has been going from strength to strength lately. There are reports that conflict with that assessment, however, and as an unbiased pillar of PlayStation coverage, we thought it only fair to present a different side of the story.
Over on TweakTown, it was determined that while PlayStation hardware and software have been generating record-breaking revenue for Sony, in terms of actual units sold, sales are down. Editor Derek Strickland breaks it all down for us:
While the numbers don't lie, we would suggest there is slightly more to the story. Game sales may have gone down, but overall revenue is up (along with prices in certain regions), which would imply that a smaller group are spending more money on the games they do buy. It's harder still to lay blame squarely on the $70 price tag, considering the pandemic-induced upheaval of the last few years and the cost-of-living price increasing almost daily.
We also wonder whether Sony is even bothered by this state of affairs. After all, as a company, does it really matter if you are selling fewer copies at the end of the day when you are making more money overall? Let us know in the comments section below.
Revenue is the priority. I’m sure Sony’s shareholders would love to see both volume and revenue increases together but if they can only have one thing they’ll take revenue any day of the week.
I can’t say I’ve personally bought a game this generation at the $70 price tag. Most games launch needing patches so I usually wait it out and they’re usually cheaper by then too.
Until this year there really haven't been as many games. I have mostly been buying and playing games from previous years that had been discounted. I think that this will really change by the end of the year with all of the major titles releasing in the second half of the calendar year and the games that will surely be delayed past Holiday season into the end of fiscal year 23.
All the more reason in the future subscription services will continue to be a great deal next to physical and Digital sales. For some it is great value that is just want they need, for most of us on a video game forum we are plenty happy to buy our games.
I got my PS5 a little later after launch and I've yet to spend $70 on any game. I also have every mayor first party PS5 game except GOW2 (waiting for that sweet discount!).
If I know within 2-4 months the games will be on sale (plus fully patched!) why would I pay that hefty price tag? I don't have plans on dying anytime soon so I'll happily play the waiting game and get anything with a $70 price tag on sale 🙂
Totally agree. Day One is no longer a consideration for me, since that has come to mean an unfinished game that will take months to sort out...by which time it will be 20% off or more.
Software sales are falling because more PS4 players dropped out of the market than new PS5 players entered the market. This was caused over 3 years of low hardware sales starting from 2020 when the PS5 announcement already killed PS4 sales.
This won’t suddenly be fixed by 1 large quarter of HW sales, it will take multiple quarters in a row of huge sales, maybe even a full year.
So we're seeing a contraction of total sales volume in the market, yet higher margin sales yielding revenue increase.
That seems consistent with the industry trying to upscale itself into some sort of lifestyle designer product of fewer sales at higher margins. Kind of self defeating and plugs into the conversation about subscription services and the costs of games. Low volume high margin works great for the biggest most marked sequel titles. It works very very poorly for anything else.
If less content is consumed less content needs to be made. The industry must shrink. The Sony CFO said their focus is growth. This isn't that.
Well you have people now waiting for games to drop onto subs if you were 50/50 on it.
So many games are released unfinished and buggy, some gamers are finally picking up on this and buying later.
And the recession people probably didn’t have as much money, so obviously will spend less on expensive games.
I think more people now have a second console to get GP/PS+
2020 record was the pandemic when people had more time, so this is probably the market finding it’s level again.
Plenty of reasons across all platforms
This is an excellent display of why it's important for an analyst to have a business degree. Financial literacy is a skill and the original reporting on this was very disappointing. There are several significant economic factors at play here and the report only focused on how total sales were down. Push Square and others shouldn't have to write an explainer to clear things up for people.
I'm just buying fewer generally as I have a massive backlog as almost everyone does. That combined with ps plus premium I ain't buying much.
@PsBoxSwitchOwner Good points. I am leaning towards a behavioural change in the market following the subscription model but do not have any reliable data to back it up. Would have been interesting to see the sales numbers for ps studio games which presumably have gone up (these won't be available on any sub service soon)
The global "pandemic" messed up almost all statistics in one way or another. Those years should not be used to predict or declare a trend in my opinion.
More consoles during 2020?
£70 games are hurting PS5, but barely any games worth buying are also hurting the PS5. I have God Of War Ragnarok and Astrobit that came packed in with the thing, but all the promises of this year having games I would want have yet to come true. I like fun Japanese developed games, and Sony haven’t helped by getting rid of a lot of those studios and falling out with a few Japanese 3rd parties.
I used to be someone that would preorder every single Sony first party game, and almost every game I had any slight interest in buying.
$70 price hike changed that. Now I only buy games when they hit a sale and just don’t bother paying more than $30 for any game.
@jamison1993 Jedi Survivor is a perfect example of this
Interestingly, article/source doesn't mention revenue or profit from subscriptions, which I would think is also a factor in number of games sold.
Adding that to the number (as we know revenue in that field grew too), it seems to be a really good year for Sony. Good for them
With ps+ extra being so good, I find myself buying fewer games lately. Not sure if that's the case for many people as well, but it wouldn't surprise me.
I assume revenue includes money from live service games which is why Sony is after a larger slice of that pie.
@Enigk The graphic notes that the games sales don't include add-on content so it appears the revenue here is just for "full game sales", though it's not entirely clear about mtx/battle pass content I'm assuming it's not part of it.
@Tharsman Very much the same for me. It's watch e3, preorder the years worth of games that week, 2 copies of many. In the 3ds/vita/wii days and best buy/Amazon discount days of $40- $50 per copy it was easy to just buy everything that interested me. $60 slowed me down a bit. $70 is just over the line, and I no longer buy a single launch game and wait for sales. I'm paying a bit over you, I'll bite at $43. But that's the max I'll pay now for a game. The price hike had an inverse effect, changing my mindset, and making me actually spend less per game than I ever did, though my total spend into the industry is certainly not less, I still buy variety but at less margin each then ever.
This here is why I respectfully disagree with Sammy's article about subscriptions dying. I don't buy full price games - I can resist FOMO very well indeed. I get them for ''free'' or second hand.
I can count on one hand how many 70 games i've bought, and in this economy I doubt I am alone.
I've been having issues justifying $70 games as i used to for $60 dollar games. i think it is a psychological thing as on the PSN story games appear as 69.99 which in my brain for some reason rounds it up closer too 100 which makes me hesitate to buy the game. Where 59.99 to me at least rounds down to 50 so I don't think too hard about the purchase. '
It may be only me but 69.99 is really making me change my purchasing habits. I didn't even pick some games that previously I would buy without a second thought.
Why are people still using sales numbers from the pandemic years as reference points and attempting to draw conclusions. Stop!
This is absolutely basic economics Khayl, and your headline presents it like it's a problem which it's not. Sell a product at a higher price may result in fewer sales but potential higher revenue. It's not hurting sales, sales are as expected at that price point.
Removed - harassment; user is banned
@arzis100193 you don't need to worry about it though. Don't buy digital games at launch and you'll never pay £70. If you must buy a game at launch the physical option is always available for less than RRP online because of competition.
Otherwise just buy games around 6 months after release when they are usually significantly cheaper.
@Nepp67 and with how much I enjoyed the first Jedi game I was actually considering it if it was good at launch. Guess I’ll wait 😅
As log as the profit is going up, it is ok for Sony, but if the selling of games goes down in time so will the profit and then they will need to change that policy. As for me even if I got a day one PS5, I never and will never buy a 70 Euro game. I believe that games need to become cheaper and good so that many more will buy them.
Total game sales are down on 2020 when we are all locked down inside and even casual gamers were playing more. Who would have guessed??? /s
Regardless I’ve been buying less games Day 1 since the start of the PS4 generation, but only a small PART of that is due to the price. It’s more to do with the fact games are usually at their worst on day 1. I would rather wait 3-12+ months for the game to be patched/finished and play the best version. The fact the game is much cheaper at that point is just a bonus.
As for £70 vs £60. It doesn’t bother me much. But I’d rather pay £70 for a more finished product without MTX, battle passes etc. than pay £60 for games that have all sorts of other monetisation.
Additionally physical are never £70 if you shop around but it’s still a price hike over last gen.
In the past year or so I think I’ve only bought 3 or 4 full priced games. Horizon FW, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, God of War: R. I also played Hi-Fi rush at launch but that was on Game Pass and I wouldn’t have paid full price for it. For the rest of the year probably only Zelda, Starfield (I’ll Play on game pass but I would buy it otherwise) and maybe Spider-man 2 if they are polished at launch. Happy to wait for everything else.
I honestly didn't mind the £70 price tag at first. Bought Returnal digital at launch and it was worth every penny. Seeing it launch on Steam later with more features at £50 was definitely a kick in the teeth though. This got even worse with recent games, Last of us part 1 launching at £70 even though we bought it twice before and 6 months later launching at £50 on steam is mind-blowing.
Yeah, i mean, i am one of those stats. I pretty much bought all first-party and second-party titles from day one from about end of 2018 till the price increase. A Sony published title is a true seal of quality, but as a working dad of 2 kids, spending 70 pounds for a game that will eventually go on sale...is just too much for me. Its no longer just a Sony issue though, as the rest of the industry has now followed suit. Its fine, im just patient to pick games up later, or wait for them to show up on subscription.
For me when the PS4 came out £45 was the price of a lot of games, I appreciate inflation happens but now £60 - £70 makes me think a bit more, especially if I'm not ready to immediately play it.
I'm also not buying anything until I find out if it's a broken mess which seems to happen a lot now.
@LifeGirl The article never once implied that subscription is dying; it is about how it is not the future of gaming. There's a fundamental difference between these 2 stances.
Let me give you an example if you can't grasp it. 'Having pets is not the future of a family' vs. 'having pets as family is dying out.'
But that £70 price tag is just for digital, I buy my games day one physical and I've never paid £70, God of war Ragnarok was £50 on release and so was Elden Ring and HFW. So these sales data can't be blamed on the £70 prices.
I only buy a few games full price at launch, normally I wait for a sale on ps store as these are a lot cheaper than going physical.
The only physical games I get now are Jrpgs, mostly full price or more with the special editions, such as the £100 Final Fantasy 16 on Amazon.
@NEStalgia Thanks for pointing out the small print. Guess the increase must be from the fact that more PS5 games are now being sold increasing revenue. Guess the price increase is benefitting Sony despite lower sales then.
I mentioned that game sales had declined for years when everyone was celebrating in the ps plus/gamepass article the other day. Subscriptions may be slowing in growth, but tradional game sales are going down not up. Not really the celebration of the tradional game sales market everyone was making out.
The rise to £70 really didn’t impact me because I never even bought games at £60 within the last years. In fact, I decided to only buy second hand physical games or games on heavy digital discount apart from VR games. I just refuse to reward Sony since they started destroying the Japanese games I love with their censorship policies.
I do have plus because it was just such a good deal and I figured Sony were subsidising it anyway to provide games at least that £2 each, but I’ll likely stop that too when my sub runs out as I have so little time and they haven’t said they’ll add VR games, which Is were I spend most of my play time (I have no problem rewarding Sony for developing the VR market, it’s pretty much the reason I got a PS5).
I would say, however, that the drop in game sales is most likely to do with wider economic conditions.
There are a number of factors like subscription services, as quite a lot of less well off people are subing to them and not buying games so in a way can be bad for the gaming industry. Also a lot of games are only 15-20 hours so not really worth the £|$70 price tag, so I only buy the title that have a decent length and replay ability, so I'm more cautious about what I buy, also saving for a morgage so cutting back. Along with other things like inflation, people have less money, due to the riding costs of food and utilities. So a lot are struggling. Personally its not affecting me much as I am constantly pushing myself to get a better wage, a lot of people are in minimum wage jobs etc so the cost of living crisis is affecting them more. I also tend to buy games on online retailers so usually get 10/15% off the rrp price, gslet most games for £50 or under
@thefourfoldroot1 Really?! What games were they censoring and why? I always thought it was just crazy-strict governments that censored things, why would content creators?
Maybe people are fed up at games still being last gen
The only games I buy new and full priced are jrpgs, mainly NISA and Gust games, because of limited supply. The rest are wait for price cut. I got Forspoken for 22€ brand new last month, and second hand copies of GOW R and Horizon 2 for 50€ combined.
@thefourfoldroot1 so in terms of the £70 value:
A SNES game in 1992 was £45. That's £92 in today's money.
Going back to say 2013, a PS3 game like The Last of Us would have been £37.99 on Amazon, so around £50 in today's money.
A "full price" (£9.99) ZX Spectrum game in 1987 e.g. your arcade conversion type titles like Afterburner or Outrun, would be £27 in today's money.
Game prices are therefore currently kind of middling. Neither the most expensive they've ever been, or the cheapest.
Obviously that doesn't include the fact that many games now require additional payments post-purchase to enjoy them fully or obtain all the content.
Other changes I think are that consumers have become more tech savvy, and are more aware and less tolerant of broken and poorly performing games.
I do agree with your censorship angle, not just for Japanese games, but the self-censorship and insertion of modern politics that detract from many titles these days, including Western games.
There is also a third factor in addition to pricing and censorship, and that is the sheer amount of time required to complete games these days. It's Time as much as Money that restricts how many titles people can play. Obviously many games that are "games as a service" like Destiny, Division or MMORPG's, try to gain a monopoly on your time, and deter from you from spending time on other games, so that you put all your money into their game.
I don't think there is one simple answer.
It would be interesting to see the sales drop as a percentage for both US and UK/EU because whilst in America the price 'only' went up by $10 in the U.K./EU they seemed to jump £20/€20 (not sure exactly about the EU as I'm in the U.K. but that what comments on forum would have me believe).
However tbh we all seem to have massive backlogs so the waiting game is easier these days. 😜
At least Sony are doing something to keep the second hand market alive, that's nice of them.
Nope. From 2018 they’ve been censoring many games, mainly Japanese, to the point of even outright banning from release games that happily released on switch. This goes far beyond what governments rightly restrict, and focuses mainly on the sexualisation of characters. Not just children of course as has rightfully always been required by law, but full grown adult women who dress too provocatively for Sony’s taste.
It hasn’t been so much the case recently as devs have learnt to just censor themselves to avoid having to make multiple copies of the games. Plus MS and now Nintendo (digital games only) have followed course. But it all started with Sony.
Agreed. Those are certainly factors. I don’t presume Sony lost many sales due to censorship though. Most people outside east Asia just don’t care unless it’s blood being censored.
Only game I bought for that price tag was god of war ragnarok and I hated it so much it pretty much put me off ever paying full price again. Wound up getting Hogwarts Legacy on PC via a third party key reseller for a huge discount and have kinda continued to do that over buying games for consoles.
I know I'm part of the so called 'problem' but I will not pay £70 for games when you can buy them all much cheaper and in better condition a few months after launch.I own Hfw-£25,gow2-£25,returnal£40,dying light 2-£25,ratchet£30 and the list goes on.All physical all bought 2-3 months after launch for more than half price?
GOW2 was at 80€ at launch in most shops in France, which is ridiculous. I haven't bought any major game on PS5 because of these ridiculous prices. I ended up borrowing most from friends, and since I still have lots of other games yet to play, I might as well wait for PS5 games to drop below 40-50€, or wait for a complete edition for HFW.
In the end, I spend much less on PS4/5 games because of Sony's greed, when I bought a few games full price on Switch since I got my hand on a PS5.
I am completely done with buying games on realease. 99% of them are with flaws, poor optimisation and overpiriced. I have big heap of games that are interresting to me and i have never had time to complete. The only game i will most certainly preorder this year is Spiderman 2. Playing Star Wars: Fallen Order as of now when almost all my PS freinds went for Survivor already lol
They even DM me asking if i have mistaken the games
The new PS+ extra an premium could be a reason. Look at Xbox, they don’t sell anywhere near as many games as Playstation, a lot of folk rarely buy Xbox games, they just use Game Pass.
I will never pay £/$70 for ANY game! I am more than happy to wait for the inevitable price drops, sales etc for games to be more reasonably priced and/or at a price I am willing to pay for that specific game.
Its not as if I am 'desperate' for games to play that I must buy something 'new' the day it launches - especially with a huge 'Backlog' of games I can play thanks to Backwards Compatibility - and MANY older games I missed, now cheap. On top of that, I have 'access' to numerous games via a 'small' monthly fee (Game Pass/PS+), many of which are 'new' (if not brand new releases, new games to me) that I can play until games like God of War: Ragnarok, Spider-Man 2 or any other £70 game drop below at least £50, if not lower...
Its not as if I don't have LOTS of games I can play thanks to Back Compatibility and/or Sub Services that I 'never' need to pay £70 for ANY game and still have LOTS of great games to fill my gaming time up...
I wouldn't even assume this is due to $70 MSRP. 2020 saw a huge increase in unit sales compared to 2019, due to Covid. Everyone has seen demand trend back down since then, as people have returned to their normal routines.
Add on people like myself, who got Extra, plus inflation/economy, it's a lot more than a new game costing $10 more.
I'd like to see that graph with 2017 and 2018. Weren't numbers trending down before and 2020 was the exception?
I’ve always been prone to buy most games at discount or second hand, and pay full price at launch only for the most anticipated games (maybe 3-4 times per year, depending) and my philosophy hasn’t changed over the last 5 years, even with the $70 price tag.
But if i look back at my ledger of purchases I do see a gradual decline in game purchases overall since 2020. So there’s probably something here and many people have listed those factors above: 1) decreased free time since the pandemic shut-down, 2) a trend toward longer games that’s take up more time, 3) a gradual growth of my backlog just by virtue of continued high quality releases, 4) an instant explosion of the backlog with access to subscription service catalogue, 5) games not finished or polished at launch, 6) a new console generation with a fairly soft release schedule in 2021 and 2022…, etc, etc.
But if my purchase habits are a case study for the industry (although I’m unlikely an average consumer), I’ve already increased my day one and full price purchases this year. 2023 is going to be a stronger year than the last two and so I suspect the sales numbers for the industry to rebound a little, although maybe not for first party as the big releases are all third party.
Sony: Oh no, we are making even more money, able to raise the price of our consoles due to high demand, and now have to produce and ship less physical games, that we can virtue signal as good for the environment, while also limiting second hand sales and keeping the digital games market prices higher, which we make more profit on than physical games..
Whatever will we do..
I've bought a few games day one since getting my Ps5 but I've never paid £70 for any game till Jedi Survivor and it'll be the last the performance issues aren't game breaking for me but it's inexcusable to launch in that state.
God of war ragnarok and final fantasy 15 r the only games I've purchased for $70 anything else is waiting for a sale except for final fantasy 7 rebirth whenever that happens
@naruball do you not get like the netflix blindness off ps extra, I know there is loads I want to play huge choices but I just can't pick something even though I want to,
I have not and will not pay £70. I just caved and bought pga the road to the masters for £58 so £50-£60 is my limit. £70 games hurting sales? That and activation codes on a disc i'd say are the main culprits with the cost of everything else going through roof.
Have not paid $70/€80 for any game and never will unless it's something that's really worth it. I wait for price drops, got Ratchet & Clank brand new for less than half that just a year after launch, got Demon's Souls used online for about the same. I did pre- order Hogwarts Legacy, but I had been waiting for that one for years, it's a non- remake 100+ hour RPG and I got the physical Deluxe Edition for about the same price as the standard goes for on the PS Store. Mildly interested in Dead Space currently, but again, I'll just wait for it to be dirt cheap which will happen. That's why the disc- based PS5 is so worth it in the long run.
It depends, I suppose, but I generally don't support the current greed and price inflation. Everything is at an absurd level right now, so priorities lie on essentials like food and energy. 99% of games I may want are not worth getting new anymore, ever.
Hrmmmm a downward spiraling economy, in the middle of the greatest cost of living increase increase in decades and inflation run rampant. So people are daring to be choosy about their entertainment? /gasp
@Allfather How dare those poor gamers choose to eat and keep the lights on!
COVID changed so much about the global landscape. Yet it seems it’s almost always ignored when analyzing things. You think game sales, movie theatre patronage, physical media consumption, etc. haven’t all be negatively affected by COVID? At this point, any comparison made to 2020 has to have an (*) asterisk.
Gamers are one entitled lot in so many ways. Titles can’t cost $60 forever. I’ve been gaming almost 40 years, why would I expect to pay the same price I did as a kid in 1992? $60 in 1992 would be about $125 today adjusted for inflation. For comparison the average movie ticket in 1992 was about $4. Years go by, prices go up. If you don’t want to pay $70 for a game why would I care but some of you need to live in the real world a bit on this and many other issues.
I think some of it is price increase but I gotta say a lot of it is people just buying a PS5 to simply have the hot new thing and then just using it to play FiFA and COD and watch blu rays.
I know a lot of people like that
@NEStalgia funny enough, it was thad Amazon 20% discount that got me started preordering almost anything, but I stuck to it even after it was removed.
I think I still have a pending order for Metroid Prime 4 that honors that 20% discount 😅
I have realized most Sony games hit $30 physically within a year and a half, some much much quicker.
Nintendo first party games, I might bite at $45 because it’s rare for them to go under that.
As for Xbox, i just use game pass, and constantly buy games digitally off their deals section to fill an ever growing backlog that sustains me until other games go on sale. I got to thank Sony for curing me of my excessive spending.
After GST+PST in western Canada must games total 110.08. That's why I purchase games a few years later when it has all available DLC and on liquidation sale to clean up remaining inventory. Bought Control Ultimate Edition for 21.08! Last new game I purchased on release day was Dying Light 2 & felt hugely burnt!
I always regret it when I bought games (physical) at $70 and usually sells it before finishing it, in the end I usually bought it again when it's below $30 discounted on psn. I usually didn't have problem with $60 games and bought a couple of games at that price on the game release date.
The only exception is rpg since I know I'll be getting the best bang for my buck with 30+ hours of new content (not repeated content like open world games). Can't wait for final fantasy 16, if the game is good I'll buy it full price day one on psn
ps. I really think sony should make more expensive special edition for their 1st party games rather than raising it base price, especially with no region price in my country. Heck, even zelda totk is only $52 here.
The only game I bought and paid full $70 for was on ratchet & clank. Most games in my eyes (with few exceptions) ain’t worth the $70+ price tag
Taxes in the US make it a little odd, because we don't add VAT into it listed price.
Where I live is not $69 it's $77 so pretty close across the board. Bigger cities think some are paying almost $80. It's maddening keeping track of all this
Buy on the Turkey store. The £70 ones are £35 on day one.
It actually works out that you save more than people who buy physical, rush through them and trade them in...and you get to keep the game.
I find games relatively cheap actually, considering inflation over the last decades. If I remember correctly they’re not even that much more expensive than in de 90s, 30 years ago!
Inflation is indeed a thing. A bacon egg and cheese sandwich used to be $2.50, now its $6 or 7 dollars
@Tharsman haha, yeah, I was ordering everything even before those discounts, but a lot was 3DS/Vita which was cheaper by default. I switched to all digital around 2018 and still was buying day 1 digital games, plus a few physical. But after that $70 jump, there's some price points that just go over a line, $40 is an easy impulse buy, $50 not too bad, $60 is a little high and gives pause, but something about seeing that $70 price point, the brain just stops and thinks "I don't need to spend that much on this right now." Price psychology is a thing, and the gaming industry really got that wrong. I'm surprised revenues are up, really, the $10 isn't making up all of that difference, with even lower volume sales that markup shouldn't be seeing that much impact in revenues, I'm thinking the jump to digital is really making up more of that overall.
@Enigk The other source of revenue increase despite lower sales is the switch to digital as the majority of sales. Physical games aren't sold at full price they're sold at wholesale price to retailers. For larger retailers like Walmart and Amazon, I doubt they're paying over $45-50 so a copy and the rest is their margin, so combining the price increase, along with increasingly skipping the wholesale price by selling mostly digital, the total Sony revenue cut per copy jumped $20-25 per copy for digital sales vs a few years ago. That would all explain higher revenue on lower volume, but that's a one-time jump by cutting out retailers.
Of course increasing prices will reduce sales numbers, that's just economics. The important question to Sony is how it affects profits.
Money talks. They absolutely don't care number of copies unless they earned more money. Sad truth.
Balances out in the end
Mix of Full price Day 1, GameFly and Used Games I am spending the same I was on PS4.
Just find the right % off each option like everything else.
$70 price has definitely impacted me buying new games. I would have normally bought Horizon but I didn't due to the price and then it was easy to just wait it out once the hype subsided. Then they added it to Plus and I'm enjoying it now and feel I did the right thing. I've only bought one game (GT) at $70. I am probably going to get another soon (FF). But their decision to raise prices has most definitely lost them money from me.
The higher price just makes me put more games on my wishlist. Not many games justify a day one purchase especially in the state they land.
@Allfather tell em Odin
I think it is having an impact - I think consumers are being more picky about what they pick up and it will make launching new titles and IP's all the more challenging. I have bought 3 £70 games (though I managed to find slightly less via third party retailers) - Gow: Ragnorok, Horizon: FW and Demon Souls. All of them known quantities to me. I wanted to try games like Returnal at launch but at that price point, not a chance. Same goes for other publisher titles. PS5 is probably the place to play the new Jedi game but I am not ponying up that cash when it is cheaper on PC and will drop in price within 3 months.
39 million is a big number but I'd be interested in seeing Nintendo and Xbox's sales to see the entire picture. I agree in that I believe it to be attributed to the overall state of the economy. I work in finance here in the US. Overall DTI, Credit Card balance and delinquency rates have all skyrocketed in the last couple of years, let alone the last 6-12 months which have been abysmal. During Covid, videogames were discovered by many for the first time or people rediscovered their love for videogames. Naturally, numbers would drop off when the world went back to normal but in reality it hasn't went back to normal because we're experiencing some of the worst inflation in US history and most don't even believe the current reported inflation rate to be true and accurate. Now, we add in the higher priced games and many people are reevaluating how and when they spend their money. People are asking themselves do I really need to play this game on day 1 or can I wait until Black Friday and score the game for $20-30 bucks? Do I have games in my backlog that I can play and wait for these new games I want to go on sale in an effort to stretch my dollar further? From what I've gathered, many are doing just that. We'll always have our games that we pick up on day 1 like Zelda or God Of War but in reality, most can wait.
I wouldn't really count 2020 due to the huge uplift in Pandemic gamers, those buying a PS4 late gen to cure lockdown pandemic boredom.. many people on furlough with additional time and disposable income. Sony have done amazingly well to get close to that will lower volume of sales.
In 2020 I got back into gaming in a big way, I brough a Switch, Xbox One X and a PS4 pro after a few years out of the game. I had so much free time so I brought about 25 games in that 9 month period.. More than I have ever done before or since.
I also played Persona 5 Royal for the first time and that was the perfect timed release!
My worry is that 3yrs into a typical console cycle, we will have seen a decent price drop on the console. In the PS4's 3rd year the PS4 Pro & slim launched at £349 & £259, vs the original £349 of the launch PS4.
Due to a number of factors, the PS5 has increased in price (in most markets outside US) and short of a cheaper to produce PS5 slim, I can't see a cheaper PS5 that close on the horizon (maybe a little, but sub £400? Don't think so).
Not to state the obvious here, but £480 is a lot more that £350 and nearly double the £260 PS4 slim. With the 'cross gen' period coming to a close, you're going to see a lot of people looking at a 3yr old console around £500, unable or unwilling to spend that much.
I think if the PS5 price remains at the current level, you're going to see people pick up a XB Series S instead (£250 or less) or the next Nintendo console. The PS5 sales have been pretty good, but the bulk of console sales are when it drops, so the PS5 growth may be stunted long term if they price stays high, as I suspect it will.
As for the $70/£70 game, the most I've personally spent on a game was 'Red Dead Redemption 2' at £60 for a "Special Edition" (physical), I can't see myself spending more than that.
The newest game I own is 'God of War Ragnarok' which I got on disc for £55, even that was somewhat through gritted teeth. I'd say that would be my personal price limit for discs (digital probably about 1/2 that) and even then it would have to be a game I'm excited to play week of release. Everything else can wait, until its both had a price drop and like many recent games, a few months of necessary patches to fix it...
My most recent game purchases were RE2 & 3 remakes heavily discounted on PSN sale (£12.49 for pair in 'Raccoon City' bundle) and a double dip of the digital copy of 'TLoUp2', in the same sale (£8.74).
I did get a 1yr sub of PS+ Extra in December, but as I suspected I would, I played a decent number of games the first month or two and have barely touched it since. A combination of choice fatigue and games from my backlog or replay list being more attractive options.
Not gonna buy a game at £70 again after the SNES/Mega Drive days.
Too much of a backlog, and anyway they already make profit if it sells at £40 due to the higher sales than back then.
Just being greedy.
@jamison1993 same here.
Last game I bought was for $50 and I only had to wait 1 month for it. Games simply don’t hold their value in the long term.
A) price of games has never stopped me from buying any game. $70 is a lot but, I remember paying $50 for several NES games, 30+ years ago, SNES games were even more than that and N64 games even higher.
B) I’ve bought 3 games for the PS5 since I got it in September. All 3 are sports games and all 3 take up a lot of my time.
C) there are games currently out that I would pay full price for right now if I had the time, but by the time I do, they won’t be full price anymore.
I was really surprised Dead Space, Resident Evil and Elden Ring were around £55. I’d like to see the sales numbers for those vs £70 games. Also, there’s no way I’d get a £70 game as a backlog game
I doubt it's a big deal.
Every company, any product, sees ebbs and flows in product and the world's economies have been shaky since end of 2020 on.
I think it's just inflation across the board. When people struggle, games are not a priority like food, water and a roof over the head.
Things in a bad economy to be hit hardest will always be games, movies and music.
£70 games were always going to stick in some customers' throats. Personally, I'll be getting a disc drive PS5 and will wait for the inevitable physical media price drop before getting most (if not all) games, unlike the rip-off PS Store.
Other reason for waiting is that most games arrive in a semi-broken state these days due to lack of testing. You have to wait for the 4th patch before all the critical bugs have been fixed and the game is actually playable start to finish. In the process of waiting, you're probably saved yourself about £20!
I mean... whatever. They do what they want and i do what i want.
I refuse to buy games at a price that high and will continue not to and wait for price drops. Wether they are happy or not is their deal. It won't change my approach.
Some retailers are often taking the loss and cutting the price to order in bulk (i assume).
I have pre-ordered FFXVI for 60 euros.
I'm just not gonna pay 70/75€ for a game. It just crosses a line where it's more than one can justify for a video game. Even 60€ is a lot and difficult to justify (i only buy very select ones at this price). Going above it is just unnaceptable. A game isn't worth all that money, no matter what it is and especially with the broken state they arrive in, the requirement for online subs and the paid dlc. It's all just too much. That initial release has been dropping in value and the price should be going down, not up.
Listen, there is global economic crisis going on and for those affected there's going to be cut backs. Alternatively, there are those in places where the economy doesn't affect their buying power. Sony is a multi billion dollar corporation who has to affectively navigate through an assortment of challenges. Knowing that their overall revenue could be affected in certain regions, they raised prices so that those of us who do buy on day 1 can make up for those who can't or are not willing. It doesn't matter overall because revenues are up, meaning that the choice to raise prices was the correct move no matter who it may offend. From every game on launch, the Edge Controllers, and PSVR2, this has been the best year in gaming since the PS2 era for me.
For those who don't see the point of paying full price, remember your employer pays you the same hourly rate no matter if your production rate meets projections or not. Imagine a world where employers can augment your pay based on productivity. A lot of people in the workforce are prepatch, perhaps employers should pay you less until your flaws are patched out as well. Maybe they can wait for a sale on employment too...you see how asinine that sounds when applied in a way that affects your pockets? Many complain when companies pine for cheaper labor and are labeled as demons of the industry.
@sanderson72 why do you say the PS Store is a rip off?
@General_Mike wholeheartedly agree. I love gaming more than anything so there's no price I won't pay to support its sustainability. Having a 3DO, Neo Geo, or N64 at their heights you saw games priced above $200 with the N64 being the lowest at 74.99. I've notice that people who complain about pricing also have other potentially unhealthy vices like drinking, smoking, or worse that cost them way more while bringing no real benefit to them. To each their own.
@DaveSimonH you are aware that Sony just made console history with the PS5 outpacing even the Switch, right? While I understand mitigating expenses, it is a gross miscalculation to project the same limits onto other people. There are those who are willing and those who are not willing to afford entertainment. This fact has always been a factor no matter what era you choose throughout history. People are in different places within the economic structure and those in a more affluent position don't often frequent gaming sites. Their absence tends to warp the status quo given that their perspective isn't often explored. Sony's smart enough to understand that price increases were necessary to weather the unwelcoming climate of this economic downturn. As you are witnessing volume is down but revenue is up, that's all that matters.
@SurgicalMenace Because, apart from their intermittent sales, some games stick resolutely to their original launch price for years whereas the physical version of the same game is £20 cheaper a month after release, even though that includes disc creation, packaging, distribution and posting it to you/stocking it in a store.
can't wait to splash 70 bucks on Diablo and Final Fantasy in the same month, having a job is nice. #notyourpatientgamer
I'm definitely not a fan of the increased price, but for certain games I'll still buy day one to avoid spoilers and also to support the game devs.
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