Sony Increases Some PS5 Game Pricing, Will Support Cross-Generation Gaming

This week, Sony announced the remaining details about their next-generation console launch, the PlayStation 5. With pricing and availability details out in the wild, the company also announced a few other minor details after the event that have big implications for those who are looking to buy the console.

First up, pricing. Yes, the $399 price point of the console is aggressive and is going to make it easier for the company to sell consoles but a few details were left off the table. While the console may be cheaper, some games from Sony are going to cost $70, a $10 price increase over the previous generation and this is for both physical and digital editions.

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This is one way that Sony is quietly increasing the cost of gaming as there are higher margins on digital games because they don’t have to be minted. This is an obvious observation but knowing the digital version of the PS5 is $100 less than the version with an optical drive, the company is clearly factoring in the higher margins on the digital sales they will receive from those customers.

One of the other big surprises was that some games are going to be cross-generation. Earlier this year Sony said that they believed in generations and it was not expected that games would work on both the PS4 and PS5. But three of their big titles Sackboy, Horizon Forbidden West, and the new Spiderman game will run on both consoles.

And speaking of exclusives, Sony is embracing the Microsoft model of bringing console games to the PC. While it may not always be at launch, the company made it clear that PC gamers will eventually have access to many PS5 titles.

While all these items may perturb some gamers who like the exclusivity and pricing of the PS5 console, the biggest issue is that pre-orders launched in a chaotic state. Initially, Sony said that pre-orders would open up starting as early as tomorrow (now today) but retailers started accepting orders not long after the conclusion of the event.

This caused fans to start bombarding websites looking for pre-orders and many who were hoping to pick up a console have found themselves on the sidelines with their preferred retailer being sold out of the hardware.

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Conversation 14 comments

  • hellcatm

    17 September, 2020 - 12:07 pm

    <p>So the PS5 with the optical drive is $100 more than without which I think is high for just an bluray. They're games are going to be $10 more (and they say some games, but it makes me wonder if all games are going to be raised by $10. The wording is suspect "<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">some games from Sony games are going to cost $70, a $10 price increase over the previous generation and this is for both physical and digital editions.: What I mean is a game that would normally be $30 will be $40…etc. </span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">It is good that they're going to make some titles for the PC though. I'll guess that all or most of the AAA titles won't be available on PC at launch and we'll have to wait at least a month (but I'm going to guess at least 3 maybe longer). This will the movie syndrome where they bring a movie to on-demand 3-6 months after in the theaters to entice people to go watch them in the theater if they can't wait to see the movie.</span></p><p><br></p><p>Now Microsoft should make a driveless version of the Xbox series X and make it $399 or at least $450, that would really make people on the fence think twice. Then they should bring out they're not raising the price of games and that many of their titles will come out on the PC at launch. </p>

    • Cactushead

      17 September, 2020 - 3:13 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#575779">In reply to HellcatM:</a></em></blockquote><p>I too would love to see a digital edition of the Series X.</p><p>Just keep the exact same size and form factor as the Series X (with optical drive slot obviously removed) and to prevent any confusion make it in a grey color.</p><p>At the moment I am really undecided on which Xbox to get as one is only 1440P and the other is much more expensive.</p><p>$400 for an Xbox Series V would I'm sure be a big seller – I know I would get one.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>Excuse the quick mock-up, but something like this:-</p><p><img src=""></p&gt;

      • sydney2k

        17 September, 2020 - 9:39 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#575812">In reply to Cactushead:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>The mythical "Series V".</p>

    • scovious

      17 September, 2020 - 3:56 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#575779">In reply to HellcatM:</a></em></blockquote><p>They will use a driveless version of the Xbox series X next year in xCloud so I would expect it then.</p>

    • bluvg

      17 September, 2020 - 4:44 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#575779">In reply to HellcatM:</a></em></blockquote><p>"driveless version of the Xbox series X" "Then they should bring out they're not raising the price of games"</p><p><br></p><p>That would be pulling a Sony move from the previous gen. Microsoft's launch mistakes from last gen hurt them the entire cycle. Sony has handed Microsoft the opportunity–if they're willing to take it–to do the same this time around.</p>

    • sydney2k

      17 September, 2020 - 9:38 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#575779" target="_blank"><em>In reply to HellcatM:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote>So the PS5 with the optical drive is $100 more than without which I think is high for just an bluray.&nbsp;</blockquote><p><br></p><p>I would suggest that the PS5 without an optical drive is $100 less that with an optical drive. The difference? The optical drive edition was always going to be the standard edition. The question has been, leading up to the launch, how much an optical drive cost and how would omitting that drive affect the cost of the PS5 Digital. Many people suggested that as an optical drive wasn't that expensive, $450 was a reasonable price. As we now know, Sony went all out and valued the PS5D at $100 less than the standard edition.</p>

      • Cactushead

        18 September, 2020 - 5:54 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#576201">In reply to sydney2k:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yeah, an optical drive would at most cost $50 (and that is including licencing) but pricing the two PS5's just $50 apart would have been pointless for Sony.</p><p>A $100 difference was a certainty.</p><p><br></p><p>And for Sony not to match the $500 Xbox Series X price would have been a real problem – they could not have been more expensive with a less powerful device.</p><p>Sony are for sure loosing quite a bit on every console – even more with the diskless version – but Microsoft left them no real choice.</p><p><br></p><p>I just feel if Microsoft could create a Series V as shown in my mock-up above, it would really push Sony in the middle price point. Simply using the existing Series X and not installing an optical drive would be super easy to do. </p><p>Then just alter the existing outer case to not have an optical slot and button hole – and make it in a different colour like I showed above would take next to no time.</p><p><br></p><p>As great as the Series S and X are – there really is a perfect position for a Series V in their line up.</p><p><br></p>

        • Vladimir Carli

          Premium Member
          18 September, 2020 - 7:39 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#576282">In reply to Cactushead:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>The difference in cost is not only related to the actual cost of the optical drive. Sony (and Microsoft) make more money for games that are sold digitally in comparison with games that are sold on disk. The digital versions hold the initial price for much longer. Moreover, digital wipes out the second hand market which does not generate any revenue for the console makers. I believe these explain the 100 dollars difference</p>

          • Cactushead

            18 September, 2020 - 8:06 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#576289">In reply to Vladimir:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yeah, the hardware difference is only about $50 so they have to take an initial loss and hope to make it back in software sales. Digital is obviously better financially over physical sales for them. Although their price rise in first party games will also claw back some of that hardware loss. </p><p><br></p><p>Sony is obviously making a large loss on both consoles, as it had been reported that their manufacturing costs were higher than Microsoft's. I believe they would have ideally liked to have priced their consoles at $550 and $450 but past experience and Microsoft's aggressive pricing forced them to lower the top end down to $500.</p><p><br></p><p>They are also going to recoup a lot of that through controllers as they are pricing them higher and requiring them for new PS5 games. A lot of families will be caught out by the fact they will need to purchase additional controllers for the family to play together.</p><p><br></p><p>This generation of consoles will certainly decimate the second hand market – I can see a lot of struggling retailors going under pretty soon.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

            • Vladimir Carli

              Premium Member
              18 September, 2020 - 9:03 am

              <blockquote><em><a href="#576334">In reply to Cactushead:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>probably Sony and Microsoft want to push on digital only as much as possible and this is not that good for consumers. I understand many people only download from the store. But truth is that I still find games on disc at GameStop for 10 dollars and that’s amazing for my children. The very same games in the store are usually 30+ dollars</p>

              • Cactushead

                18 September, 2020 - 10:57 am

                <blockquote><em><a href="#576371">In reply to Vladimir:</a></em></blockquote><p>Sadly for some, this is going to be a bad trending direction.</p><p>But with services like game pass, games with gold and digital sales – many more people are simply preferring to not have physical disks these days.</p><p><br></p><p>I'm sure there will still be some stores with second hand disks but I expect this to only get rarer over time.</p><p>I fully expect the next round of gen consoles in a few years time will all be digital only.</p>

  • codymesh

    17 September, 2020 - 4:47 pm

    <p>the sad truth is that any big compelling game can be priced as high as $90 and people will still buy it – like the next GTA or Cyberpunk 2077</p>

  • fiddle

    18 September, 2020 - 8:27 am

    <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">"While all these items may perturb some gamers who like the exclusivity and pricing of the PS5 console…"</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">It's ok to be annoyed about pricing, but being "perturbed" about exclusivity? It surprises me that a consumer would take offence at games being available on multiple platforms. </span></p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      18 September, 2020 - 8:58 am

      I think what they’re worried about is games NOT being available on multiple platforms, e.g. being exclusive to one platform.

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