Aug 25, 2022 - Technology

Sony raises PlayStation 5 price outside U.S.

Photo of two PlayStation 5 consoles and their controllers
Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is getting a surprise price hike in most of the world due to difficult global economic conditions, the company has announced.

Driving the news: The price for both models – with the disc drive and without –will increase in Europe, the U.K., Japan, Canada and other regions, but not in the U.S.

  • PS5 Blu-Ray model in Europe: €500 → €550 (up 10%)
  • PS5 Blu-Ray model in Japan: 49,980 → ¥60,478 (up 21%)
  • PS5 Blu-Ray model in Canada: CAD $630 → CAD $650 (up 3%)

What they’re saying: “We’re seeing high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends, impacting consumers and creating pressure on many industries,” Sony’s head of PlayStation, Jim Ryan, wrote in a blog post announcing the “difficult decision.”

  • The strong U.S. dollar had made the PS5 relatively cheap outside of America, where the high-end model retails for $500 plus tax.

Between the lines: Hardware price increases without the addition of new features are exceedingly rare in the competitive games industry.

  • Console makers sell the same console for years, with prices dropping across a half decade or more. Amid adverse financial conditions, companies usually refrain from cutting the price.
  • Sony’s PS5 increases will make its console more expensive than Microsoft’s comparable Xbox Series X in more markets. For example, in the U.K., the high-end PS5 will now cost £480 vs. £450 for Xbox Series X. (Nintendo’s best model of the Switch goes for £310).
  • Those prices may all be moot, as demand remains high. Over the last two years, Sony and Microsoft have sold as many consoles as pandemic-constrained supply lines have allowed them to produce.

Thought bubble from Axios Markets’ Felix Salmon: The PS5 has been underpriced from launch, given the supply and demand dynamics.

  • Sony always had the ability to raise the price and make more money; inflation, along with the surging dollar, has made that move both more important from a financial perspective and more acceptable in terms of public opinion.

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