Sony raises the price of the PlayStation 5 console due to runaway inflation

In this photo illustration the PlayStation 5 logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

Mateusz Slodkowski | SOPA images | Light Rocket via Getty Images

Sony on Thursday raised the recommended retail price of its PlayStation 5 game console in several international markets citing the global economic environment, including high inflation.

The Japanese gaming giant said the price increases are effective immediately, except in Japan, where they will start on September 15.

Sony does not raise the price of the PS5 in the US

“The global economic environment is a challenging one that many of you around the world are no doubt experiencing,” Sony said in a blog post. “We are seeing high rates of global inflation, as well as adverse currency trends, affecting consumers and putting pressure on many industries.”

The company said that “based on these difficult economic conditions,” it has decided to increase the price of its flagship console.

These are the increases and the new prices of the PS5:

  • Europe: 50 euros ($50) increased to 549.99 euros for the disc version and 449.99 euros for the digital version
  • United Kingdom– Increased from £30 to £479.99 for the disc version and £399.99 for the digital model
  • Japan: Increased from 5,000 yen to 54,980 yen for the disc version and 44,980 yen for the digital model
  • Porcelain: Increased from 400 yuan to 4,299 yuan for the disc version and 3,499 yuan for the digital model
  • Australia– Increased from AU$50 to AU$799.95 for the disc version and AU$649.95 for the digital model
  • Mexico: 1,000 Mexican pesos increased to 14,999 Mexican pesos for the disc version and 12,499 Mexican pesos for the digital model
  • Canada: CAD20 increases to CAD649.99 for the disc version and CAD519.99 for the digital model

Sony’s price increase comes amid a slump for game companies including Nintendo and Microsoft, which saw second-quarter sales fall as the pandemic-induced boom begins to fade.

Sales at Sony’s gaming unit fell 2% year-over-year in the June quarter, while operating profit plunged nearly 37%. The Japanese giant also cut its full-year profit forecast for its gaming division.

Sony is also facing ongoing supply chain issues that make it difficult to make enough PS5 consoles to meet demand. There has been a noticeable shortage of PS5s globally.

Its rival Xbox, made by Microsoft, has yet to announce any price hikes.

Given the fact that “PS5 supply has been severely restricted since launch, with many consumers unable to purchase Sony’s latest console, and the fact that Microsoft has yet to show any signs of raising the price of its series Xbox, there is no doubt that this price increase will have been a difficult decision to make,” Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere Analysis, wrote in a note on Thursday.

“However, with inflation and price increases being felt throughout the component supply chain, much of it priced in US dollars, coupled with continued high distribution costs, Sony has now had to transfer some of those cost increases to try to maintain the profitability of their hardware goals.”

Ampere Analysis estimates that Sony sold 21 million PS5s worldwide compared to Microsoft’s Xbox Series consoles at 13.8 million.

Harding-Rolls said he doesn’t expect this to put off gamers wanting to buy a PlayStation 5 as demand remains high.

“While we think there will be disappointment for some consumers who tried unsuccessfully to buy a PS5, or who were saving up to buy the console just in time for the price to increase, the pent-up high demand for Sony’s device means that this price increase of around 10% in most markets will have a minimal impact on console sales,” he said.

“We expect Sony’s sales forecast for the PS5 to remain unchanged.”

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