UPDATE:PlayStation boss Jim Ryan says these reports are "categorically false."
Original article continues below:
If Sony had their way, next-gen PlayStation 5 games might have cost more than $69.99 at launch.
The new Xbox Series X and PS5 console generation is sold at a premium. The higher-end 4K 60FPS+ machines offer premium experiences, so publishers are charging a premium entry fee. $69.99 is now the new standard for next-gen games, and publishers like Take-Two, Activision, and even Sony are jumping on board. Games like NBA 2K21, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, and Sony's own first-party Demon's Souls will cost $69.99.
According to Bloomberg, next-gen games could've cost even more. At one point Sony toyed with the idea of charging more than $69.99 for their PS5 games. Right now games cost $64 after tax, and next-gen games will be $74.89, representing a $10 price hike.
The reasoning behind price hikes is to offset higher development costs and pull in more revenue. For Sony, the main justification is to help balance out the loss of PS5 manufacturing. Both Sony and Microsoft sell their consoles at a loss (Nintendo, however, makes a profit off of every Switch sold). Manufacturing of Xbox and PlayStation consoles costs more than their hardware sales price. They recoup the cost via software and services.
So if you loss more money from hardware, you can just raise software to help offset the spending.
Multiple publishers have embraced the new $69.99 price, whereas others like EA, Ubisoft, SEGA, and Capcom have kept their games at $59.99 while promising free next-gen upgrades.
Here's what some publishers are saying about next-gen pricing:
"It's been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times. If you don't have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide."
"There hasn't been a price increase for frontline titles for a really long time, despite the fact that it costs a great deal more to make those titles.
"And we think with the value we offer consumers...and the kind of experience you can really only have on these next-generation consoles, that the price is justified. But it's easy to say that when you're delivering extraordinary quality, and that's what our company prides itself on doing."
"We're definitely announcing pricing on a title by title basis. There hasn't been a front line price increase for a very long time but costs have increased significantly. We believe we're delivering the highest quality experiences in the business. It does rely on our continuing to deliver amazing experiences and that's our strategy and our goal."
We do not have a set policy at this time. We will consider our approach having analyzed both our strengths and weaknesses while closely monitoring industry trends."
"I don't really want to weigh in on that yet. We've always said that games are getting more expensive. The experience is getting deeper. The time that people are playing games is getting longer.
"One might argue that, that might require a higher price point over time. But we'll address that as we get closer to more games coming into the next-gen console transition. And when -- what I default back to is, let's stay focused on the excitement of what we can do with the new games, and price will follow that.
We'll figure that out. And I don't want people to read into that. We're going to raise prices or not. We don't know yet. What we do know is we're going to be able to do a lot more things with the new consoles and our partnerships with the new console, Sony and Microsoft and others that are making the consoles.
- > NEXT STORY: EA on $69.99 next-gen game price: 'We don't know yet'
- < PREVIOUS STORY: PS5 8K gaming support, next-gen HDD game storage coming post-launch