Sony hasn’t fully decided on a price for the PlayStation 5 yet. It seems this is partly because it’s waiting to find out how much the Xbox Series X will cost to buy.
Sony had its Q3 earnings call this week during which it was announced that the PS4 just had its lowest Christmas sales period. In total 6.1 million units were sold during Christmas 2019, compared to 8.1 million units sold in Christmas 2018.
Chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki stated that he intends to ensure a “smooth transition” for Sony from the PS4 to PS5. But he was questioned on how we will do this and asked which costs Sony can control.
As translated by VGC, Totoki said Sony must control the labour and personnel costs, and will prepare the right volume for production and sales ahead of the PS5 launch.
He then said that one factor Sony can’t control is the “price level” of the next-gen console space. Totoki implies that Sony is waiting to see what the price of the Xbox Series X will be before putting a price on the PS5, so as to be competitive.
“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.”
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Totoki then adds that balancing these predictable costs against the ones Sony can’t foresee means that nothing concrete can be said at this 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,” Totoki said.
Sony will be helping its players transition to its next-gen console, too, with the PS5’s backwards compatibility allowing PS4 games to be played on it. Microsoft is promising the same, Xbox Series X backwards compatibility available at launch able to play all Xbox One games on day one. The fact that both next-gen consoles will have backwards compatibility at launch is a first, and it’s a big deal.
Chris Priestman is a freelancer who writes news for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.