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Report: Sony to limit PlayStation 5 supply at launch

A report from Bloomberg suggests Sony might go with a unique strategy to sell the PlayStation 5: namely, to sell a limited amount of consoles in the first year, allegedly to offset the console’s higher price tag.

Bloomberg’s anonymous sources report that the company will produce “5 to 6 million units of the PS5 in the fiscal year ending March 2021.” By comparison, the PS4 sold more than that within a few months. The rumor is that the console will have such a higher price tag than the PS4 and the PS4 Pro that it’ll put off buyers on launch day.

Read: Everything we know about the PlayStation 5 (so far)

Assuming this is true, this could tie into reports that the PS5 is substantially more expensive to make than its predecessor. So far, the options for Sony appear to be to sell the console at a loss or to just go for the higher price and hope for the best. I hadn’t even considered the company selling fewer consoles, but it makes sense in a way: limited stock means you drive up consumer interest in getting their hands on one. Other speculation is that Sony‘s been hesitant to put a price on the PS5 until after Microsoft puts a price on the Xbox Series X. Historically, the higher-priced console doesn’t do as well.

Of course, part of the reason for this sort of speculation is that Sony still stubbornly refuses to show us or tell us much about the PS5. We know what the controller looks like, and it’s a doozy — I can only assume the rest of the console will be the same when we eventually get a look at it. Bloomberg’s sources allege that the reason the company put out the controller was to preempt leaks, as its traditional promotional schedule has been hogtied by the coronavirus.

Regardless, there’s one thing that I think will make or break the launch of the PS5: games. We need to see some actual games to see whether the PS5 is going to be a must-have or a must-miss on launch day. We’ve already heard that the Series X’s launch line-up will also be available on the Xbox One, with Microsoft hoping the current-gen console will act as a gateway to the next. Bloomberg’s report speculates Sony is hoping for the same thing with the PS4 and PS5, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t have next-gen exclusives on that console either.

In spite of everything else going on, the PlayStation 5 is still set to launch some time later this year.

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Published April 16, 2020 — 18:07 UTC