An announcement on the official PlayStation Blog this week heralds a PlayStation 5 price hike for the ever-hard-to-find home console. Despite continually holding market share above Microsoft in the ninth generation of consoles, Sony seems to be unable to meet or keep up with demand for PlayStation 5s globally, and Sony reported back in May that this will continue to be the case through 2023.
According to NowInStock, the PlayStation 5’s U.S. presence continues to elude shoppers with consoles disappearing about as fast as PC graphics cards were this time last year. A casual eBay.com search shows that consoles are getting scalped and sold well above US MSRP levels, often at $600.00USD or above.
It is not uncommon for shortages to exist for a console launch, especially for the earliest of adopters. Nintendo is notorious for having console shortages early on in the launch cycle for three generations straight to-date. The Wii U was so criticized that Nintendo of Japan’s Satoru Iwata personally apologized and took a self-imposed pay cut.
Specifics on the PlayStation 5 price hike can be found here. Again there are no indications that prices will be raised on the US market at this time. Piers Harding-Rolls, a gaming analyst over at Ampere Analysis, had this to say in response to Sony’s announcement:
While we believe there will be disappointment for some consumers that have been trying to buy a PS5 without success, or that were saving to buy the console just in time for the price to increase, the high pent up demand for Sony’s device means that the price increase of around 10% across most markets will have minimal impact on sales of the console. We expect Sony’s sales forecast for the PS5 to remain unchanged (emphasis added).
With months away from the two-year anniversary of PlayStation 5’s release, it is difficult to see this move from Sony as anything other than a failure to understand market forces. When Nintendo had similar trouble after the Switch launch, they went out of their way to double their production to keep up with demand. While Microsoft faces similar supply issues with the Xbox Series S, they have had little trouble keeping the slightly cheaper model X in stores and on shelves. The list of present and upcoming PlayStation 5-exclusive games is at best sparse compared with what is available on Xbox Series X.
There is no announcement if this price increase is temporary.
Skeptic is a former Crisis PR Director who now teaches media/literary criticism. With a love of objective criticism of games in general, and what games say about culture in nonjudgmental manners, he’ll tell anyone who listens about Metal Gear and the military industrial complex. He’s the only person he knows who actually liked El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron.