The PlayStation 5 is key to Sony’s future, but rising component prices are threatening to push the game system out of the comfort zone of many consumers.
A report from Bloomberg says the cost to build the still-unreleased video game console is currently $450 per unit. That means if Sony hopes to break even at retail, the system’s price could range from $470 to $500. That’s considerably more than the PlayStation 4, which currently retails for $299-$399, depending on the model.
Sony could, of course, sell the system at a loss. For years, that was the model followed by most console manufacturers, who counted on making up the loss in software sales. (Console makers get a cut of every game title sold—and also supplement their income with subscription services required for online play.) With the release of the PS4, though, Sony opted to break even at retail.
Sony last tested consumer pricing comfort levels with the PS3, which launched at $500 and $600 (and even that high price represented a significant loss for the company). That gave a big boost to Microsoft, as consumers favored the less-expensive Xbox 360.
The PS5 will be loaded with advanced technology, including a solid-state hard drive, which will load levels and other game elements in significantly less time, and a new 3D audio technology to let players hear steps behind them and beside them without any additional hardware.
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