Just as soon as PlayStation’s hardware architect opened up about Sony’s next console came questions of what that will cost. The Wired writer who first reported Sony’s plans put that question to Mark Cerny, and the answer is … it’s probably gonna cost more.
Cerny, PlayStation’s lead architect, did not say that directly. But yesterday on Twitter, Wired’s Peter Rubin shared an unpublished exchange with him:
Rubin: there’s always been a general range of launch pricing. Will the next console hew to that range?
Cerny: I believe that we will be able to release it at [a suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.
Rubin: Meaning that it may cost a bit more, but what you’re getting is well worth it?
Cerny: That’s about all I can say.
Rubin’s article described a “PlayStation 5” (official name not official yet) sporting a solid-state drive, and a CPU and graphics hardware supporting ray tracing, 8K resolutions and a new “3D audio” technology. The unit will also be backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games and support PlayStation VR.
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It stands to reason that, based on the components needed, if not also inflation, the next PlayStation will cost more than the PlayStation 4 did when it launched in 2013 at $399.99. Of course, that pricing was likely motivated by the widely mocked launch pricing of $599 in 2006 ($755 in today’s money). Cost was one reason the PlayStation 3 was slow out of the gate and lost the previous generation to the Xbox 360, and it was another big reason the $499.99 Xbox One was slow out of the gate and has so far lost this generation (in sales, anyway) to the PS4.
Currently, the most expensive base configuration of the PlayStation 4, a PS4 Pro with a 1 TB hard drive, is $399, the same as its launch price in 2016. Also, as if on cue, Microsoft yesterday announced the pricing and launch date for its all new discless Xbox One S. That’s May 7, and $249.99, and it comes with three games.
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