According to Bloomberg’s report, which cites anonymous people “familiar with the matter,” the limited production run isn’t a result of Covid-19 disruption, as one might expect. The actual reason is said to be its price.
Back in February, Jefferies Group warned that the closure of many factories in China would lead to the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 being delayed, or at least suffer from restricted stock. Analyst firm DFC Intelligence later echoed this belief. But Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said the company’s console was still on track for a 2020 launch, while Bloomberg’s sources say Covid-19 has only affected Sony’s promotional plans for the PS5, not its manufacturing schedule.
The problem, it seems, is the price. Sony has revealed many of the PS5’s specs, including an eight-core Zen 2 CPU, custom AMD GPU, and solid-state drive—hardware that pushes up the cost. High demand for DRAM and NAND flash memory is also causing issues for the company.
We’ve already heard that the console’s MSRP is proving to be a sticking point. It was predicted to be $470 just to break even, though some game developers creating titles for the console think a $499 to $549 price is more realistic. With such a high cost, Sony expects PS5 demand to be more subdued than its predecessor. There will reportedly be 5 to 6 million units released before March 2021, whereas the PS4 sold 7.5 million in its first two quarters, and that was with a delayed release in Japan.
Mass production of the PS5 is set to begin in June, which could be when the console, and perhaps its price, is officially unveiled.
Earlier this month, Sony revealed the PS5’s successor to the DualShock controller: the DualSense. It features new haptic feedback elements, a Create button, a new design, and other bells and whistles.