Report suggests Sony will produce a limited number of PS5’s produced
An interesting report has emerged this week via Bloomberg, suggesting that the PS5 will still launch this year in-spite of the on-going havoc caused by COVID-19. However, Bloomberg go on to say that Sony will be producing far fewer PS5’s for launch than they did with the PS4. Rather than being due to effect that the virus is having on worldwide supply, it is instead related to the rumoured high launch price for the console.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have had some of their specs revealed now, wowing the gaming world with the sort of power typically reserved for high-end gaming PCs, which can run into the thousands of dollars to put together. The biggest new expense for both consoles is the switch to SSDs. This storage type is much faster, meaning games are able to proceed with a fraction of the load speeds present in the current generation’s traditional hard drives. The trade off for this is a major jump in production costs. The price of hard drives has been dropping steadily for years, but the equivalent sized SSD is far more expensive. A 1TB hard drive on Amazon, for example, will likely set you back less than $50. A 1TB SSD, meanwhile, typically costs well over double that.
The Xbox Series X, the Xbox One replacement, has the slightly stronger specs, but it’s not inconceivable that it could come in at the same price as the PS5 or perhaps even cheaper. This is because of Microsoft’s manufacturing might meaning they have a slight edge on Sony in that respect. Furthermore, while this console generation has been decisively ‘won’ by Sony and the PS4, with sales of more than double what the Xbox One managed. Microsoft will be absolutely desperate to claw back Sony’s lead, and could be willing to take a quite significant hit on the money they make from selling consoles in exchange for converting players to Xbox.
As of yet, neither Sony nor Microsoft have committed to either a release date or price point yet, as both are almost certainly waiting for the other to blink first.
Sony’s reasoning for limiting the supply of PS5s is a result of these higher costs, which they appear to believe will see demand for the new console drop compared to previous launches. There’s also likely a degree of bet hedging at play; if the price truly prevents consumers from picking a PS5 up, it’s highly possible that Sony returns to the drawing board in order to bring a cheaper PS5 to market.