PS5's Price Could Depend On One Specific Factor

"It is very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this time."

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2020 is a big year for the PlayStation brand, as Sony is releasing the PlayStation 5 sometime this holiday--an exact release date hasn't been confirmed. We've learned a little about the next-generation console so far, like its faster loading times, but there are many questions that remained unanswered beyond the exact date. One big question concerns pricing.

What will the PS5 cost? Sony management responded to that question during an earnings call, saying those details might depend on other factors, including the competition. This is presumably a reference to the Xbox Series X, which also doesn't have a price point yet.

"What is not very clear or visible ... is because we are competing in the space," CFO Hiroki Totoki said, though a translator. "So it is very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this time. Depending upon the price level, we may have to determine the promotion that we are going to deploy, and how much cost we are prepared to pay. So it is a question of balance."

It is difficult to speak concretely about PS5 pricing at this stage, Totoki said, but fans and investors can be sure that Sony will "choose the optimal approach."

For comparison, the PS4 launched in 2013 at $400 USD, while the Xbox One--which included a Kinect with every console--debuted the same year at $500 USD.

Currently, Sony is focused on nailing down the production and sales elements of the PS5 launch strategy, in addition to securing the right volume of consoles for launch, Totoki said.

The PS5 launches this year as the PlayStation 4 continues to drop off in sales. The 6.1 million PS4 consoles sold during the holiday quarter is down 25 percent year-over-year, representing the lowest holiday sales figure ever for the console. In total, the PS4 has now sold 108.9 million units, which makes it the second most successful console in history--it only trails the PS2 (150 million sales).

In other news, Sony has launched the PlayStation 5 website--but don't expect much in the way of useful information from it just yet.

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