While Microsoft are going with a rather interesting dual-console approach as they enter next-gen, with the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X both targeting different crowds with their varying specs. Sony, on the other hand, are doing things a little differently. Though the PS5 will also have two variants – one of which will be a discless digital-only console – both of them are basically the same pieces of machinery with the same specs, with the Digital Edition costing $100 less.
According to industry analyst Michael Pachter though, that approach isn’t the smartest one for Sony, especially from a business perspective. Speaking to GamingBolt in a recent interview, Pachter said that given the xost of making a PS5, combined with the additional money Sony makes per every digital game sold, they are still taking a loss on each PS5 Digital Edition sold. Pachter says that the average consumer won’t buy the number of games that they’ll need to recoup the losses on a PS5 Digital Edition.
“I think Sony really blew it with that, because as far as we can tell, the cost of making a PlayStation 5 is $450, so they are breaking even on the $500 version, but losing $40 or so on the digital version,” he said. “A disc drive isn’t worth that much. So they’re losing $40, but they gain $6 more per digital game than they would gain otherwise. So you would have to buy a lot of games to cover up the loss, and I just think it’s unlikely many will buy that many games.”
The analyst went on to say that most consumers will still end up purchasing the main PS5 SKU with a disc drive in order to have that option, before adding that Sony will likely make and sell fewer digital consoles.
“I actually don’t think many consumers will want to save the money, I think most would rather have the disc drive on hand so they have the option to take their game to their friend’s house or trade it in or whatever,” Pachter said. “So I think they blew it with the Digital Edition, but it’s hard to tell early numbers, because it’s all sold out anyway, and we don’t know how many of each they made. But I think over the long run, they’ll sell and make fewer digital editions.”
While there’s been no official word from Sony on the same, retailers have definitely stated that they have had higher quantities of disc-based PS5 consoles to sell so far, so Pachter’s assertion seems to be on the money. Things will probably become clearer a few months from now (especially when there isn’t such a dearth of PS5 consoles available to purchase), but for now, it does seem like Sony is favouring the disc-based PS5 over the Digital Edition.
In the same interview, Pachter also spoke to us about Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, and how it will impact them and Sony in the long- and short-term. Read more on that through here.
Our full interview with Michael Pachter will go live soon, so stay tuned for that.