After months of speculation, Sony eventually revealed the PS5 price on September 16 — just 57 days before its eventual release in the United States. That’s 100 days fewer than the gap between the PS4 price being unveiled and the console launching seven years earlier.
This late reveal had many speculating that Sony was hit by coronavirus’ impact on both supply chains and household budgets, and had to change its pricing accordingly. But according to PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan, that simply wasn’t the case.
“Our preferred pricing was determined early in this calendar year, pre-lockdown,” Ryan told Edge Magazine, as shared by Wccftech.
This, he insisted, had not changed, and it was always the plan for the disk-free version to sell for the same amount as the PS4. “We’ve been able to launch PlayStation 5 at $399, €399, with all the horsepower and the feature set that the console has, at the same price that we launched PS4 back in 2013.”
This also pours cold water on another theory for the late price reveal: that Sony was waiting to see Microsoft’s Xbox Series X MSRP before deciding its own. That said: just because Sony always wanted to sell the disk-free console for $399, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been forced to adjust if Microsoft had massively undercut it.
Whether or not this is the whole story, it’s pretty clear that both Sony and Microsoft could have afforded to price their respective consoles a little bit higher should they have wished. Following pre-order chaos for both consoles, they have sold out everywhere as soon as they’ve hit shelves.
We may be teetering on the brink of a global recession thanks to Covid, but there certainly still seems to be an appetite for more $499 gaming consoles than both Sony and Microsoft can manufacture. Microsoft has even stated that it expects shortages to extend well into next year.
If you’re still hunting for a next-generation games console ahead of Christmas, all hope isn’t lost. We’ve been keeping tabs of both where to buy PS5 and where to buy Xbox Series X on the site, and update regularly.