Lately, Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 console has been the center of focus in most gaming communities. As evident by Mark Cerny’s latest interview with Wired, it seems like Sony is planning to go all out with the PS5 in terms of hardware. Although Cerny did discuss what the source of all this processing power will be, he didn’t mention the price. All he had to say was:

“I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set”.

Now I don’t know about you, but I believe that Sony doesn’t want to show all its cards just yet. Especially because (after a very long time) it’s going to be absent from E3 this year.

In case you missed it, Microsoft released the new disc-less Xbox One S, an all-digital console meant for streaming and downloading games. If you want to play a certain title, sure you can but on the technical front, the device has limited capabilities, same as the older Xbox One S. The only difference is that it won’t support disks, depriving you of one of the ways to install games. Then why was it released? Well, Microsoft claims that it’s cheaper than the original Xbox One by $50, so it’s a great deal for those not interested in the upcoming, newer iteration of the console. We all know that is just another marketing tactic as the former is available for $200 along with game bundles, so I don’t really see any season to recommend this new disc-less version, whatsoever.

Sony PlayStation 5

Back to the topic at hand, how much will the PS5 cost? My best guess is at the very least $499, worst-case scenario $599. Going by what Mark Cerny has said, the PlayStation 5 is going to be significantly faster than its predecessor, with possible support for ray tracing, 8K playback as well as backward compatibility.

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Furthermore, the system is going to leverage AMD’s 7nm parts, namely 8 Zen2 cores and a custom 7nm Navi GPU. While the CPU is going to be a huge upgrade over the present Jaguar processor, we’re still not very sure what to expect from the latter. My best guess is that it’s going to be a modified, low-frequency variant of the upcoming Radeon Navi graphics card. With performance on par with a GeForce RTX 2070, it should allow 1440p-60FPS gaming in most titles and even 4K (30 or 60 FPS) in first party titles.

AMD Navi PlayStation 5

There’s also going to be a new “3D” soundcard, SSD for storage rather than the traditional HDD and a better thermal-build to support all this hardware. The I/O has also been overhauled for smoother overall performance.

That’s a whole lot of upgrades, but all this comes at a price. Again, as I said earlier, the PS5 isn’t going to be as cheap as the PS4 at launch. Have a look at the launch prices of consoles in the past two decades or so:

  • PS3 launch price: $599
  • PS4 launch price: $399
  • PS4 Pro launch price: $399
  • Xbox 360 launch price: $399
  • Xbox One launch price: $499 (but with Kinect)
  • Xbox One X launch price $499
  • Xbox One S all-digital launch price: $249

Gaming consoles have had a history of costing less than $500, but if Sony’s PS5 is even able to manage 30FPS at 4K in most mainstream games, and has dedicated hardware for ray tracing, then expect a price of $599. However, if 1440p is the resolution of choice, then it’ll mostly be cheaper at $499. There’s a lot of conjecture involved here because we still don’t know much about AMD’s Navi GPU. So to some extent, the final price will be decided by what AMD has cooked up for Sony for all the visual eye-candy.

Team red is rumored to launch the Navi GPUs for desktop PCs at E3 this year. Once they are unveiled, we’ll have a better idea of what to expect (and if ray tracing will be supported on a hardware level) and accordingly predict the price more accurately. Let us know your thoughts below.

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