Sony is finally opening-up on its next-gen console, PlayStation 5, after having kept mum for most of the year. With a game reveal showcase now confirmed for June 4, we can expect further news to start flowing in. While next week’s showcase is sure to give us something about the console itself, do not expect too much. Sony is bound to continue keeping its cards close to its chest. However, Sony PlayStation’s CEO, Jim Ryan, did touch upon a few elements regarding the console in a sit-down with gamesindustry.biz.
The reports, mostly unconfirmed, about PlayStation 5 have surely given the console’s loyal community a bit of anxiety. The first half of the year has more or less been about how Sony has run into trouble due to the pandemic ravaging our globe. Be it a possibility of a delay, or the disturbance in the production capacity of the new console, the news was pretty grim until this month.
The biggest letdown was perhaps the news report claiming the launch price of the console could be around $450-500. A Bloomberg report claimed the high production cost of the units would force Sony to hike up the launch price. But would that work for them? After all, back when it hiked up the launch price for PS3, it suffered dearly.
However, this month has brought in a much-needed sense of relief among the fans. The tech giant’s financial reports confirmed the console launch was on track. Moreover, we also got an official word of a “compelling lineup of games.”
PlayStation 5 CEO assures “best possible value proposition”
In his chat with gamesindustry.biz, Jim Ryan did brush upon the subject of the price, unsurprisingly, though, refrained from giving us an estimate. He did admit that times are a bit unusual, and vowed to offer the “best possible value proposition.”
“Now, who knows how this recession is going to look, how deep it will be and how long it will last.
“I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don’t necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things. In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games… all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform.”
While this sounds quite noncommittal, let’s hope the PS3 debacle compels them to keep the price on the lower end of the spectrum. However, there is a good possibility that Sony will hike the price up from the PS4 launch ($399). Unless, of course, it is ready to bear some significant initial losses.
“Increase in development budgets”
Ryan admitted that the new-age graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 5 will also increase the game-development costs.
“I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, (the games) will become slightly more human-intensive and capital intensive to produce. So yes, we think there probably will be an increase in development budgets. We don’t see it as being a massive increase, and that’s why we want to do more faster than we have ever done before, to provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetize against.”
We better expect the next-gen console and games to put a strain on our wallets. Well, at least in the initial phase. But then again, it has never really been all that cheap, has it?