Improved hardware, including a new CPU, GPU, and custom-built SSD storage is going to make the PlayStation 5 a massive improvement from its predecessor. But how much will it cost?
Early speculation points to the PS5 hitting a starting point of $499 at launch, putting it at a median between the PS3 and PS4 before it. This would fall in line with Microsoft’s Xbox One X, which was released at the same price point when it released.
The PS3 launched at a monstrous $599 for the most advanced version of the console, which has yet to be beaten by any other console since then. That put it at $200 more than even the most expensive Xbox 360 at the time, which was $399.
Sony worked to make up for that blunder with the launch of the PS4, listing it at $399 at launch, with later models phasing out the original build for new price points. The PS4 Pro released in 2017 was an improved version of the original console, but still cost the same as a launch unit, with the PS4 Slim, a smaller version of the original with only slight improvements, releasing at $299.
Much like how both the PS4 and Xbox 360 had different versions of the console available on day one, Sony might do the same with the PS5. This would allow the more casual buyers to get the cheaper console, while those who want the premium experience can spend a little more to get what essentially amounts to a decent gaming desktop.
A base price of $499 seems reasonable for all of the advancements being put into the console and the improvements it will provide older games through backwards compatibility with PS4 titles.
That backwards compatibility might also make it easier for some gamers to let go of their older system, meaning they would trade it in without fear of never being able to play PS4 games again. That would save the consumer a nice chunk of change while also putting money into Sony’s pocket.
Much like with the PS4, however, Sony might be willing to lose out on some of the initial revenue generated by console sales in order to get a leg up on the competition for the next generation. Especially with how much the modern gaming landscape has shifted to digital sales, the company might be able to stomach the early loss for the long-term gain.
We are still more than a year away from the PS5’s launch, though, so as more details about the system come out, the price point will become easier to guess.