The next-gen console launches are increasingly looking in peril after a number of unforeseen factors have possibly been affecting both the manufacturing and the costs. Bloomberg is now reporting that Sony is running into significant problems with the PlayStation 5, claiming manufacturing costs have now risen as high as $450 per console, raising the gloomy spectre of a prohibitively expensive next-gen console launch.
Pricing has yet to be announced for either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X but it’s expected the final specifications are now locked and mass manufacturing will commence in due course.
With the specs now finalised, Sony finds itself in a tricky position. Supplies of DRAM and NAND flash memory have dried up due to increased demand from smartphone manufacturers, with Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy refresh sporting up to 12GB RAM. This is believed to have led to dramatically increased prices, causing the cost of manufacturing the PS5 to be driven up.
Bloomberg believes practically every component with the PlayStation 5 is now locked down, leaving Sony with little wiggle room. This includes an enhanced cooling which costs considerably more than the cooling found on the PS4.
As it currently stands then, Sony is staring down the barrel of pricing the PlayStation 5 in excess of $470 per unit in order to turn a profit. It leaves the Japanese giant with a fairly obvious problem - price the PS5 high in order to mitigate risk yet reduce sales, or sell the PlayStation 5 at a loss, balancing risk against demand.
Sony is currently saying that the coronavirus outbreak has had no impact so far on PlayStation 5 production, although this is something which could obviously change depending on whether the outbreak is controlled or it escalates. If it’s the latter, we’ve probably got a bit more to worry about than how many PS5 consoles will be available for launch day.
How much do you think the PS5 is going to cost on launch day? Do you think Sony can risk launching with a price as high as $500? Let us know your thoughts below!