The Playstation 5 was just announced for a winter 2020 release by Sony. The console will contain an AMD Ryzen Zen 2 microchip, an SSD, Ray Tracing, an advanced new controller with "adaptive" triggers and rumble, and a 4K blu-ray player. And that's just everything officially announced so far. So how much will all this cost, and how high is too high for the price of the PS5?
Pricing is often one of the final aspects of a new gaming console to be unveiled to the public. In past generations the price would be announced the E3 before the fall of release, where most of the final details would be hammered down and the launch lineup would be shown. When announcing the price for the Playstation 5 in 2020, things may be different for Sony. Having skipped E3 in 2019 it is unclear if Sony will be returning to the trade show to debut the PS5 or if they will host an event themselves to fully announce the console. Rumors say the PlayStation Meeting 2020 event in February 2020 might hold the answers.
Nailing down the right price for launch is important for companies to get the leg up on competitors. Sometimes, like in 2005 with the PS3, fumbling the pricing announcement can cost a company the first few years of a generation. Sony's horrifying PS3 price reveal for a 60gb console that would run players $600, for which they then commanded gamers to "get a second job" to pay for. It cost them a lot, especially after dominating the previous generation with the Playstation 2, still one of the best selling game consoles of all time.
During the PS4 and Xbox One launch in 2013, Microsoft released a console for $499.99 that came bundled with Xbox Kinect, but did not release a version with Kinect for a lower price until the following summer. The Sony console was more affordable while Kinect and the motion control craze of the Wii era was losing steam. Naturally, the Xbox One got steamrolled that fall. Each console cycle, pricing has been key to early adoption.
The mid-cycle consoles, as well as the launch PS4, all released for $399.99 when they came out. This price has become what feels like the expected standard price for a new high-end gaming console. The PS5 price can be expected to be at least $400, as anything lower is highly unlikely. But it is likely it could even go up to $500 or more depending on the hard drive space and how much the machines cost to manufacture. But if the PS5 were to be the more expensive console of the generation, what could be be worth paying the extra $100?
Well, there's significantly decreased loading times for one. Load times have been promised to be reduced for the Xbox Scarlett, and Sony has patented technology that will decrease the load times for the Playstation 5 in ways that may give them a leg up when it comes to nearly instantaneous loading. Following the PS4's launch and continuation of many major Sony first-party franchise, the PS5 is also set to have the better exclusive game lineup. Fans of God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn will have to come to the Ps5 for the sequels. But how high can that price go above the competitor before it starts to loose its die hard fanbase?
The highest the price for the Playstation 5 can realistically go is $499.99. Anything above that would be too high, given the history of game console prices and Sony's own past missteps. The PS3 launch debacle was years ago, but memories could flood back in an instant if Sony priced their console at $600. To avoid that, but still not sell consoles at a major loss, it feels like setting a price between the expected standard $399.99 and the seemingly high $599.99 is the right move, making anything above $500 too high for the price of the PS5.
It's possible that Microsoft's Project Scarlett features multiple packages at launch, and it's worth noting that that are rumors of a PS5 Pro for launch as well. If this is to be the case, then it stands to reason that there will be a competitively price console alongside a more expensive console with extra features. Since this is just rumor, however, it's more likely that the PS5 will only have one available model at launch, but it does have multiple packages, it seems like a safe bet they will still fall in the aforementioned price range.
The PlayStation 5 will be released sometime during the 2020 holiday season.