News of the PlayStation 5 shocked the world yesterday when Sony and lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed several of the consoles features, but an omitted quote from the interview also shed a miniscule amount of light on the console's future pricing prospects. According to Cerny, the PS5—which doesn't have an official name yet—will have a price point that should have gamers interested once they consider the features on offer from Sony's upcoming next-generation console.
The PlayStation 5 price might be the only thing that stops it from becoming the most talked about console for the rest of 2019. Sony's announcement usurped the spotlight from Microsoft, which had been planning a major E3 2019 reveal and, almost sadly, reiterated having a lot of information to share during said presentation after Sony dropped its bombshell next-gen announcement yesterday. The system's specs are tantalizing, with 8K support, a SSD that is somehow faster than anything available to PC gamers at the moment, and it's backward compatible, too. If that technology sounds expensive, though, that's because it probably is, and could inflate the price of the upcoming console.
According to PlayStation's Mark Cerny, though, even if the price is high, it shouldn't concern those interested in the console. In an interview with Wired, Cerny discussed details on the PlayStation 5, but the discussion bizarrely never came around to price. According to interviewer Peter Rubin, that's because there wasn't much to go on—the reporter later shared the exchange he had with Cerny on the PlayStation 5 price point on Twitter instead. Here's the brief exchange the two had on the topic:
Me: 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 an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.— Peter Rubin (@provenself) April 16, 2019
Like Rubin identifies immediately before discussing the quote, it's a tiny bit of information, the kind that was justifiably cut from an interview that featured a lot of concrete, big information. Yet given all of that, it's important to note that Cerny believes the PlayStation 5 price will be "appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set." When prompted for more info by Rubin, who suggests that Cerny's response makes it sound as though the PlayStation 5 may "cost a bit more," Cerny simply replies "that's about all I can say about it." The PlayStation 5 will be competing in a brand new video game market when it does release, with Google Stadia, Microsoft's streaming plans, and the Nintendo Switch's unique brand of charm all creating a more cutthroat environment than the one the PlayStation 4 so thoroughly routed.
Price is always going to be a major hurdle when a new console generation begins. If there's a company that has learned its lesson when it comes to expecting too much flexibility on price from consumers, though, it's Sony. The company infamously launched the PS3 with an exorbitant price tag and was burned on it for basically that console's entire life cycle. From the sounds of it, we'd guess the PS5 might end up somewhere in the $450-500 range, which, when you factor in the new technology and ability to own physical copies of its games, will probably be appealing in the way that Cerny discusses during the interview.