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Even with limited information, the hype surrounding the PlayStation 5 has been extraordinary. However, even as the console will likely be a success (much like all other PlayStation consoles), it appears as if Sony may be limiting how many units it produces in the first year of its launch.
In an extensive report by Bloomberg, people familiar with the PlayStation 5’s release plans have told the publication that production of the PS5 may be limited due to the high expected cost of the unit. The PS5, much like the Xbox Series X, figures to be incredible ambitious with its specs, but that has pushed price projections to around $500-$550. Sony seems to be worried that this price will be a deterrent for many.
In response to these projections, the company is planning to produce and ship 5-6 million units by March 2021, a 1.5-2.5 million unit drop from the amount shipped in the early parts of the PS4’s life cycle. It should be noted that the production of the PS5 units, as of yet, has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction of units is more about the ability to sell the units at the current price point. It could, however, change in the future.
A reported plan to transition people in the new system is by getting more users to buy into the PlayStation ecosystem. Whether that means purchasing a PS4 or PS4 Pro (with potential price cuts drawing users in) or through the purchase of their subscription service PlayStation Plus, Sony is looking for ways to attract customers and have them potentially purchase a PS5 at a later date.
As of the publication of the Bloomberg article, there were no plans on changing production plans (increasing or decreasing number of units) or pushing back the release of the console. For the former, the COVID-19 pandemic could still present an issue. While insiders say there have been no effects on production yet, they have also noted that Sony employees are working at home and engineers have not been able to meet with manufacturers due to travel restrictions.
As for the latter, it appears that Sony is eyeing its competition, Microsoft, seriously. The holiday season is certainly an important time for shoppers and allowing for the Xbox Series X to dominate the market is a difficult business decision to swallow. Likely, as long as Microsoft tracks to release the Series X at the end of the year, Sony will as well.
As more news develops on the PlayStation 5 and next-generation consoles, we’ll continue to update our coverage.