A report recently published by Bloomberg highlights that Sony will produce limited quantities of the PlayStation 5 in its first year of release, among other quite interesting things.
If any of what Bloomberg said is to believed, then we’ve got quite a number of things to unpack in the report – Limited quantities at launch, possible price point, and reveal strategy which includes the DualSense.
Citing sources who refuse “to be identified because the subject is private”, Sony is set to produce 5-6 million PS5 units within its first fiscal year, which ends in March 2021. While that number may seem like a lot, the PS4 sold 7.5 million units within its first 6 months, putting the PS5 at a huge supply deficit leading into the next generation.
Sony does NOT want to be in that place, especially when the hype for the upcoming consoles is at an all time high and Microsoft is inching closer to redemption.
The twist? An expensive price tag may put the 5-6 million units as a safe supply estimate.
Bloomberg reports that game developers who have been creating the next gen titles expect the machine to be around the $499-$549 range, a full $100 more expensive than the PS4 when it first released. This could possibly serve as a mild deterrent to adopt on day one.
Granted, the technology and parts could justify the price tag, Sony may even jack up the price a bit to avoid selling the console at a loss, at least just to break even maybe.
Or maybe they’ll be forced to sell at a loss? Sony and Microsoft are playing a game of chess with regards to pricing at the moment and if the PS4 / XBox One launch is anything to go by, then price will definitely spell success or failure for both companies.
The strategy for Sony, it seems, will be to ease players in transitioning to a PS5. Whether this leads to a potential PS4 price drop in the months to come or to produce more cross generational content to lessen the FOMO, the supply must be able to meet the demand eventually. Hardware sales are only part of the equation, and Sony must look to improve PS Plus subscriptions and even PS Now to mitigate the impact, similar to what Microsoft has done with Game Pass and Live.
Of course, the COVID-19 outbreak is to blame for a lot of this. From disrupting events to production lines around the world, Sony’s promotional strategy has also been derailed.
Bloomberg also reports that Sony may forego holding a physical event for the PS5 reveal, which will not be surprising considering that global events like E3 and GDC have already cancelled. The DualSense was also revealed in a “hurried fashion”, in fear of leaks since it was shared with a handful of developers.
Lastly, Sony will stick to its 2020 Holiday launch window as long as Microsoft sticks to their launch schedule. Neither will want to budge, so expect launch dates to be very close to each other, at a possible supply compromise most likely.
While Sony has yet to provide official comments about the report, it would be interesting how both Sony and Microsoft can adapt to the current conditions leading towards launch.