Sony have finally confirmed that their next-gen console will be called the PlayStation 5, releasing in 'holiday' 2020, but how much money will it cost you to buy the PS5 when it drops?
Official pricing is unlikely to be revealed until the very last moment, but we can piece together a (hopefully) accurate estimate based on the information we already have.
This includes some of the headline specs, such as an SSD (as opposed to a hard drive), ray-tracing technology, and the ability to push out 8K playback.
So let’s look at all the features that could stack up to give us a rough price estimate.
Will the SSD make PS5 more expensive?
Some of these specs, particularly the SSD, do not come without a price tag. To buy your own 1TB SSD will cost you anywhere from $150 to $250, depending on the brand and the type (SATA or NVME).
While a 500GB SSD could cut this cost in half, given the size of games these days, players will be hoping to have at least 1TB of storage.
Of course, Sony are not buying individual SSD’s for each PS5, but it’s still an expensive component - much more expensive than a hard drive.
Ray-tracing in PS5
Next up we have ray-tracing, still somewhat a novelty even in PC gaming. NVIDIA started the trend with their 'RTX' graphics cards, which came with RT cores to provide more realistic reflections and shadows.
These RTX graphics cards come at a premium vs their non-RTX counterparts, and so there’s presumably an added cost for having this feature in PS5 too. However, it’s possible to provide ray-tracing through software now, which could cut down on this cost, rather than having a physical ray-tracing graphics component.
We also know roughly what CPU the PS5 will use; an 8-core AMD Ryzen chip. The cost of an equivalent chip for consumer purchase is around $170.
So, what’s the PS5 price?
Adjusting some of these prices down a bit, as Sony will be manufacturing in bulk, for the CPU, GPU and SSD alone, it could cost them around $300-$350 to make (for a 1TB model).
Add in the chassis itself, disc tray, RAM, controller, development costs and everything else, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the base model come in at around $500.
During a February 4 investor call, Sony indicated that a price point for the new console is still yet to be finalized. "It’s very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this point of time," Sony's Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki expressed. "It’s a question of balance, and because it’s a balancing act, it’s very difficult to say anything concrete at this point of time."
Perhaps PlayStation will offer a version with a 500GB SSD for slightly less or a 2TB ‘PS5 Pro’ for a higher price, possibly $650+.
A PS5 Pro could also allow Sony to offset the cost of the base model. By dropping it slightly to encourage more casual players to make a purchase, while more dedicated players will pay a premium for the ‘pro’ version.
All of this is speculation currently, as we won’t know the actual price until much closer to release in holiday 2020.