Expect low PlayStation 5 production and higher prices due to expensive parts

Get ready for the next shortage: Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 output will be significantly lower than that of the PlayStation 4 when it launched in 2013.

News of the low initial availability comes from a Bloomberg report, which said the lower production figures are due to the cost of parts, not the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, as many might expect. Sony told its partners it plans to produce between 5 million and 6 million PS5 consoles in the first few months compared to the more than 7.5 million units of the PS4 that sold in a similar time frame post-launch.

The PS5 will reportedly cost between $500 and $550 at launch, slightly higher than expected. The current-generation console, the PlayStation 4, sold for $400 at launch, and the older PlayStation 3 went for $500 — a price point blamed on the console’s failure to draw in gamers at first.

Scarce components raised the break-even point for Sony to around $450 on the PS5, according to Bloomberg. Though consoles are known to launch at prices that make their parent companies take a loss on each unit, the report implies that Sony will not go that route with the PS5. Now, Sony finds itself in a standoff with Microsoft, as neither have officially revealed the price points of their upcoming consoles. Microsoft has, however, provided more details on its anticipated Xbox Series X.

“We must keep PlayStation 5’s bill of materials under our control,” Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said during an earnings briefing earlier this month. “We need to make the correct number of units in the initial production.”

Sony remains unwilling to share many details on the PS5. It revealed the look of its new DualSense controller earlier this month but hasn’t still shown what the actual next-generation console will look like. Last month, Sony detailed the PS5’s specs in a stream with system architect Mark Cerny, and showed off the significant upgrades the console will pack under the hood. Most PS4 titles will also work with the PS5, though not all.

With just months before the PS5 and Xbox Series X are released during the holiday 2020 season, it won’t be long before fans get full clarity about what to expect — and at what cost.

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