Sony could be placing a record-breaking RRP on its next-generation PlayStation console when it launches next year, according to early pre-order information reported by T3. The Japanese electronics firm is clearly not afraid to release consoles which cost a lot more than the competition; back in 2006 the PlayStation 3 hit the shelves at £425, which was a lot higher than the £280 that Microsoft required for the Xbox 360 at the time. If reports are to be believed, the PlayStation 5 will go even further than its predecessors, making cheap gadget insurance a necessity for any gamer who invests early and wants to make sure that their console is protected against accidental damage and faults.
All of these rumours about the high price of the Playstation 5 stem from a Swedish retail website called MediaMarkt, which offered pre-orders for the console with an asking price equivalent to £860.
Very few console gamers will be willing to part with anywhere near this much for a new system, no matter how impressive its technical specifications might be.
The reason for console gaming’s success in the first place is that it offered users a more accessible, affordable platform on which to keep themselves entertained, away from the far more expensive ecosystem occupied by high-end home computers.
If Sony prices the PS5 at this level, people will be essentially paying the same for a games console as they would for a dedicated gaming PC, without any of the added flexibility and benefits that come with a traditional computer.
Of course, this is just information sourced from a single shopping site and is likely to be a prediction made by the retailer independent of any input from Sony itself.
Some analysts have pitched the PS5’s launch price at a much lower level; around £410 seems to be the consensus at the moment, although the weakness of the pound may mean that UK customers have to pay more than this to get their hands on one.
Sony will no doubt have learned its lesson following the PS3’s problematic launch, which at the time was compromised because of the high asking price. This allowed Microsoft to effectively gain market share in that console generation at Sony’s expense, even in light of the success of the earlier PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation 4, for example, arrived at a reasonable price point and went on to secure a leading position following its 2013 release.
When the Playstation 5 launches next year, Sony will not only need to convince customers that it is worth parting with their cash by keeping the price low, but must also showcase genuinely impressive hardware features and associated game play opportunities.
The promise of higher resolutions, richer textures and more frames per second will not be enough to convince most people that a generational leap makes sense for them. Ultimately, the quality of the games will be more important than ever in this impending console generation.