The next console generation will be expensive. It’ll be expensive for both Sony and Microsoft, and it will also be expensive for the consumer too, not least because the cutting edge technology that both consoles encompass is massively costly. With great power it seems, comes great bucks (or something).
Anyway, we already know that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be very similar to each other in terms of pure technical specification (and perhaps even more than the current-gen Xbox One and PS4), but it’s chiefly the costly sum of a high-end SSD, powerful GPU/CPU combo and GDDR6 memory which would almost certainly result in a console that would greatly exceed the magic $400 price point that many folks would be willing to pay for.
Indeed, when speaking about Xbox Series X, Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter had this to say:
“The size of the Series X processor represents a significant cost just on its own – and that’s before we factor in other pricey parts such as solid-state storage, GDDR6 memory and what is likely to be an innovative (and likely costly) cooling solution. In fact, simply increasing the size of the box alone increases manufacturing and worldwide shipping costs.”
Equally, though Ledbetter feels that the Xbox Series X and by proxy the PS5 will cost more than the $400 sweet point (though certainly not as much as recent rumors have suggested), he also believes that both consoles will avoid the death-knell $599 price point which provided such poor optics of the PlayStation 3 at its launch over a decade ago:
“I’d find it difficult to believe that Series X will cost less than $499 bearing in mind its build costs. And equally, I can’t see it costing more bearing in mind the PlayStation 3 launch disaster at $599.”
Further confirming the notion that both Sony and Microsoft would be walking the tightrope of either making a loss on each console sold, or, pricing their offerings at a premium RRP, respected analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted to that effect:
Struggling to see how PS5 / Series X can launch sub $400 given preliminary BOM for known specs.
The CPU/GPU, GDDR6 Memory and NVMe SSD alone would be well above 50% of both the build price and a $400 retail price.
It's either take a heavy loss, or price appropriately above $400
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 19, 2019
Of course, while everyone likes having cheaper price points at retail, having Sony soak up such massive losses, especially in the short-term, is hardly an ideal scenario either – not least because it would leave the platform holder much less able to invest new studios, research and development and more besides.
Again though – it falls to you guys ultimately. Would you be willing to pay more for PS5 when it launches next year, or, would you want to pay less and expect Sony to absorb and compensate for the loss in some other way? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Daniel Ahmad, Eurogamer (Via Digital Foundry)