Via an exclusive interview with Wired, Sony finally unveiled the as-yet-unnamed PlayStation 5… sort of. The interview offered us a bunch of details about what to expect from the next-generation PlayStation console, including an SSD that has more bandwidth than anything currently available for PCs, a GPU that supports ray tracing, 3D audio capabilities built into the console, and backwards compatibility. This isn’t Sony’s official reveal, but it wanted to get out ahead of the inevitable leaks, rumors, and speculation that comes with the time leading up to a new console’s release.
One of the official bits of information that we didn’t get was the price. While the specs and internals that Cerny discussed are quite impressive, they’ve also been cause for some concern that the PS5 price will be out of reach for many consumers. Peter Rubin, the Wired author that interviewed Mark Cerny, tweeted about these concerns with an additional part of the interview that didn’t make it into his article. Cerny told Rubin that the price “will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.”
Me: There’s always been a general range of launch pricing. Will the next console hew to that range?@cerny: I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.
— Peter Rubin (@provenself) April 16, 2019
Sony’s learned a lot of lessons over the lifetime of four home consoles. Looking back at the PS3’s launch price of $600 and how the console stumbled out of the gate, my gut tells me Sony won’t repeat that mistake, no matter how advanced the PS5’s feature set is. Conversely, an initial price point of $400 seems low for a console that is gearing up to have features that many high-end PCs don’t even have. This leaves the middle ground of $500 (or $499.99, rather) as the most likely PS5 price when it launches.
Of course, Sony could still be working on its pricing strategy around the PS5. With the next-generation PlayStation console not officially revealed or even named yet, there’s still a lot going on behind the scenes at Sony involving the details of the system. My guess would be that while the company may have a pretty good idea of where it wants to go with the price, the PS5 price won’t be locked in until closer to when we hear about it ourselves.