Sony is having a hard time keeping the PS5 manufacturing price down, which may affect its final price tag this holiday season, according to people close to the matter who spoke to Bloomberg on conditions of anonymity. Due to scarcity of some of the PS5's internal parts, the cost per unit has risen to about $450, which may be above what SOny wants to charge consumers later this year, leaving them to either sell it at cost, or perhaps even a loss.
It's not uncommon for consoles to be sold at a loss, especially as subscriptions and software end up making up the costs many times over, but PS4 was sold for a slim profit margin, not a loss, and the sources who spoke to Bloomberg said there is an ongoing conversation within the company that has left some executives wanting to make a profit off the consoles again, even if it's a slim one. PS4 launched for $399 and was estimated to cost about $381 per unit.
If the PS5 costs $450 to manufacture, it will need to be sold around $470 to bring in a similar profit margin to the PS4, which may be a heftier price tag than Sony wants to put on the console. The Bloomberg sources say right now the company is playing wait-and-see with Microsoft, which needs to reveal its own next-gen console sometime this spring or summer too.
If Microsoft plans to wait until E3 to reveal its Xbox Series X price tag, one has to wonder if Sony will remain patient. The company held its PS4 reveal event in February of 2013 before more details were revealed in June of that year at E3. But in 2020, Sony is skipping E3 and there's no PlayStation meeting in sight. It seems the companies have entered into a tense game of chicken, and ironically it may drive prices down in the end as both parties seek to undercut each other.