This year we’ll finally get to the next generation of consoles. Both Microsoft and Sony are ramping up (though both in notably different ways), and there’s bits and pieces we know for sure, and still tons of rumors to fan the flames of the fanboy wars that rage in our comment sections and Twitter feeds with almost every platform news post. One of the big questions that will matter the most to average consumers however is simple: what’s the cost? Well, we don’t know, and it looks like Sony might not be too sure as of now either.
As revealed in their third quarter earnings call (as transcribed via VGC), EVP and CFO Hiroki Totoki seems to imply that the company isn’t quite sure what the price tag will be just yet. There’s still a lot of factors to put into mind, such as pricing of the competition, labor costs and what level of profitability they want to maintain.
“First, we must absolutely control the labour cost, the personnel cost, it must be controlled,” he said. “And the initial ramp up, how much can we prepare initially, we will work on the production and the sales and we will have to prepare the right volume as we launch this.
“What is not very clear or visible is because we are competing in the space, so it’s very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this point of time, and depending upon the price level, we may have to determine the promotion that we are going to deploy and how much costs we are prepared to pay.”
“So it’s a question of balance,” Totoki continued, “and because it’s a balancing act it’s very difficult to say anything concrete at this point of time, but when I said smooth transition, we mean that we will definitely choose the optimal approach and that we will try to have the best balance so that we will be profitable in the life, during the life of this product.”
The general consensus based on what we know will be in the hardware is that the next systems probably aren’t going to be cheap, or at least won’t be as nicely priced as this current crop of consoles were when they launched. It could also be that Sony knows what they plan to price their next machine at, but is preferring to wait until the official unveiling. Let’s hope we all won’t have to get another job to pay for the PS5, at the very least.