- The PlayStation 5 is scheduled to be released late in 2020
- How much is it likely to cost? What will the exact release date be?
- Is COVID-19 going to hurt early sales?
Seven years: that’s how long it’s been since Sony released the PlayStation 4. The wait is coming to an end in 2020, though. By all accounts, the PlayStation 5 is going to be released in late fall or early winter.
With an 825 GB SSD, it will crush the PS4 in terms of detailed game environments. Thanks to a load rate of 5.5 GB per second and improved power consumption, it could be ten times faster than its predecessor while also being significantly quieter.
Many questions still linger about the console, however, like when exactly it will hit shelves, how much it’s going to cost, and how many people in these economically-challenging times will be able to afford it.
PlayStation 5 Odds
|Over/Under PS5 release date||Nov. 20, 2020|
|Over/Under PS5 retail price||$455.50 USD|
|Over/Under sales in first 24 hours||1.2 million|
|Crash Bandicoot 4 is a PS5 launch title||2/1|
|God of War 2 is an exclusive PS5 launch title||5/1|
PS5 Price Point
The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed nearly 500,000 lives and it has negatively impacted millions more livelihoods. In April, alone, the US lost 20.5 million jobs, which means price is going to be a big deal for the PS5.
To some extent, Sony can only do so much. They are not going to sell it at a loss. What many don’t know is that the profit margin on consoles is quite small. One estimate on the PS4, which retailed for $399, found that it cost $381 USD to make, only an $18 difference. Most of the profit winds up coming from accessories. But, as stated, Sony is still going to build in a little profit to the PS5 price.
Initial reports on the PS5 retail price ranged greatly, anywhere from $400 USD to $500 USD. Based on the hardware and seven years of inflation, it’s hard to imagine that it costs less to build the PS5 than the PS4, so $400 USD is not likely. Early estimates put the cost to build the PS5 around $450 USD.
But Sony likely recognizes that now is a good time to sell the console, itself, for as cheap as possible. If people already own it when the economy rebounds, they can immediately splurge on the more profitable accessories. Expect the retail price to be in the mid-$400s.
PlayStation 5 Release Date
Unlike, say, the retail price over/under, the release date over/under of Nov. 20th was fairly easy to set. There are credible reports that Sony is releasing its new DualSense controller on that date and the company will make sure it’s on shelves before Black Friday (which falls on Nov. 27th this year). The PS4 was released earlier (Nov. 15th) but 2013 didn’t feature a global pandemic.
Waiting a little longer increases the chances that the economy will have rebounded and more people will be back to work (barring a winter resurgence of the virus … gulp).
Sales in First 24 Hours
Both the PlayStation 4 (2013) and the Xbox One X (Microsoft’s latest Xbox release in 2017) were reported to have sold one million units in the first 24 hours they were available.
The PS5 sales depend to a great degree on the state of the world (re coronavirus) in November 2020. If we are approaching some semblance of normalcy and the majority of people (North Americans in particular) are back to work, PS5 sales should exceed one million in the first 24 hours.
New sales data for PlayStation 4 ecosystem
106 million PS4's sold
1.15 billion games sold (10.84 tie ratio)
5m PS VR units sold
103m MAU on PSN
38.8m PS Plus Subscribers pic.twitter.com/1KC3pkG0mJ
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 7, 2020
However, if the Dow Jones is still well below its February 2020 level, PS5 sales could be hurt, badly.
SBD’s estimate is on the optimistic side. The Nasdaq is already above its February 2020 level and the Dow is climbing. Barring further the aforementioned winter resurgence of COVID-19, expect big sales from the PS5.
A number of Sony-made and PS5-exclusive titles from third parties have been confirmed. Aggregating the news and rumors from EuroGamer.net, TechRadar.com, and DigitalTrends.com, the list already includes the following.
Confirmed PS5-Exclusive Games
|Demon’s Souls||Bluepoint Studios & Japan Studio|
|Destruction AllStars||Lucid and XDEV|
|Ghostwire: Tokyo||Tango Gameworks|
|Gran Turismo 7||Polyphony Digital|
|Goodbye Volcano High||KO_OP|
|Horizon Forbidden West||Guerilla Games|
|Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales||Sony|
|Oddworld: Soulstorm||Oddworld Inhabitants|
|Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart||Insomniac Games|
|Sackboy: A Big Adventure||Sumo Digital|
The list is sure to grow, potentially with some classic titles.
The next installment of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is finally slated for release in October 2020 on PS4. But it’s not clear whether the PS5 version will be ready for the late 2020 launch of the new console. Given the previous gaps and hiatuses in Crash releases, it’s more likely that Crash Bandicoot 4 won’t be ready for PS5 at the time of the consoles release.
There were rumors earlier in the year that God of War 2 (the name most are giving to the GoW sequel despite a God of War II came out on PS2 in 2007) was going to be a PS5 launch title. People were, understandably, excited. (God of War II was named the best PlayStation 2 game of all time by Complex in 2012, five years after its release.)
But there’s been little movement on this front since. It was noticeably absent from the PS5 game reveal on June 11th. The odds are long.