We’re right in the middle of new console silly season. Everyone is picking up on every little rumour and bit of hearsay in order to ‘be the first’ in breaking news about everything from the new Xbox’s power to the PS5’s ray-tracing capabilities. In the battle of ‘one-up-manship’, power and pricing are often the first weapons of choice. So, which console will be the most powerful? Which console will be the cheapest? And more importantly who will flinch first and reveal their details before the other?
As the current leader in sales, it makes sense that Sony does not want to make the first move. Stepping away from E3 is likely a strong indication of this. They will let Microsoft have the limelight for that time and then (assumingly) counter whatever is revealed soon afterwards in their own presentation. However, while that may work for framing their power specifications, price is often the most important feature at launch. Several pricing gaffs (from Sony and Microsoft) in the past have shown that if you’re out of touch of what the consumer thinks is reasonable you’ll quickly fall behind the competitor. However, according to a Bloomberg report – manufacturing is seemingly playing a big role in what the PS5’s final cost will be.
Manufacturing costs higher than expected
According to Bloomberg sources, the PS5’s manufacturing price is currently sitting at around $450. This seems to be due to a scarcity of reliable parts specifically ‘DRAM and NAND flash memory’. That number doesn’t in itself seem too high. Especially considering that consoles often sell at a loss (or close to it) with hardware makers making money back on software. Also, some online predictions have even suggested that the new generation of consoles may be sold in various tiers with the higher end ‘Pro’ versions costing as much as $600.
However, if this report is to be believed, it could be that Sony was aiming for a much lower selling point and these soaring manufacturing costs may affect their ability to undercut Mircosoft. This is again significant because just a few weeks ago – some pretty strong rumours surfaced indicated that the Microsoft console would be the more powerful machine. Unfortunately, at this point everything is unconfirmed and rumours are often wildly inaccurate. However, as pointed out by the Bloomberg report – this information does help to understand Sony’s reasoning for only revealing details of their new console’s price once Microsoft has already done so.
In this instance, Sony’s thinking may not be ‘the early bird that catches the worm’, but rather the clunkier ‘the slightly-delayed-but-more-competitively-priced-bird catches the bigger worm’.