Bloomberg reports that Sony will have a limited production for the PlayStation 5 in its first year, according to “people familiar with the matter.”
Their anonymous sources claim that the console’s high specs may result in it being costly at launch. The coronavirus pandemic has also allegedly affected the console’s promotion, though not “production capacity.” Mass-production will allegedly begin in June, with parts being delivered now.
The travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic has allegedly prevented Sony engineers from traveling to China, to “direct final adjustments” prior to assembly plants beginning production. Sony’s “assembly partner” allegedly showed concerns last month about meeting the production deadline, concerns which have now receded.
Game developers are allegedly expecting the price to be around $499 to $549. Bloomberg propose that Sony may not host a press conference when revealing the new console’s price and release date, fearing backlash.
Bloomberg also states some analysts believe that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be sold at a loss. Macquarie Capital’s Damian Thong stated “I think both the PS5 and Xbox Series X may end up at US$450 even though they would lose money at that price.”
Bloomberg had previously reported that Sony were allegedly taking a “wait-and-see“ approach to the PlayStation 5’s pricing, according to their sources. This was seemingly motivated by struggling to find parts.
Even the recent reveal of the DualSense controller for the console was allegedly forced to, due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Sources also claim that only a “small circle” know what the PlayStation 5 looks like, in order to prevent leaks.
Sony have allegedly told its assembly partners that they would make 5 to 6 million units by March 2021 (the end of their fiscal year). For comparison, the PlayStation 4 sold 7.5 million units in the first two quarters of its launch.
Sony are allegedly planning (in Bloomberg’s words) “to rely on incumbent PlayStation 4 models as a bridge to get new users onto the PlayStation platform’s network services while the PS5 remains in limited supply.” The price of the PlayStation 4 may also be cut around that time, to encourage new PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
However, PlayStation 5 production could change depending on the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bloomberg’s sources. For example, Sony employees have begun working at home. Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that one of their employees in Tokyo had contracted the virus.
Despite all the concerns, Sony are reportedly unlikely to delay the console from its Holiday 2020 release. Bloomberg’s sources claim (in Bloomberg’s words) “So long as archrival Microsoft Corp. doesn’t push back the release of its next-generation Xbox, also expected at the end of the year, Sony won’t delay either.”
Sources within the supply chain for the parts claim that Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan has “stressed” the console should launch simultaneously worldwide.
When Bloomberg contacted a Sony spokesperson, they declined to comment.
The PlayStation 5 launches Holiday 2020.