A PlayStation 5 price hike is coming, but not for US customers

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Sony announced a price increase for the PlayStation 5 in select markets Thursday, citing a challenging economic environment. The company has hiked the console’s prices in Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, China, Australia, Mexico and Canada, effective immediately. Japan’s price change will go into effect Sept. 15. The price of a PS5 in the United States remains unaffected.

In a post on the official PlayStation blog, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan explained that Sony increased the console’s price due to “high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends.” Some of the new prices include 549.99 euros for the standard PS5 in Europe (up from 499.99 euros) and 60,478 yen (up from 54,978 yen, both with tax included) for the standard PS5 in Japan, Sony’s home country. A full list of the regional price changes for the standard PlayStation 5 and the digital edition are listed in the blog post.

The PS5 is nearly two years old now (it was released in November 2020) but due to high demand, supply chain issues, a global microchip shortage and online re-sellers, Sony’s coveted gaming system famously eluded the reach of many prospective customers.

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This unusual pricing change — video game consoles traditionally get cheaper over time rather than more expensive — isn’t the year’s first. In July, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, made a similar move when it announced a $100 price increases for both versions of its virtual reality headset, the Quest 2, adjusting the product’s prices to $399.99 for the 128 GB model and $499.99 for the 256 GB. The cost of the Quest 2’s accessories and refurbished headsets also increased. Meta wrote that the price changes were made to fund the company’s future VR ventures and “keep driving the VR industry forward,” on its website. At the time of the announcement, the Quest 2 was also nearly two years old.

Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at UK-based market research firm Niko Partners, wrote on Twitter that rising manufacturing and distribution costs may have also contributed to the price hike. “The cost of manufacturing and distribution has also increased across the board, even if availability of components is starting to improve,” Ahmad tweeted.

Xbox manufacturer Microsoft confirmed in a statement to Windows Central that it had no plans to raise the price for Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S consoles in any region.

“We are constantly evaluating our business to offer our fans great gaming options,” Microsoft told Windows Central. “Our Xbox Series S suggested retail price remains at $299 (£250, €300) the Xbox Series X is $499 (£450, €500).”

The video game industry enjoyed a surge in profits and popularity at the beginning of the pandemic due to lockdown orders and social distancing. For years, video games were seen as a recession-proof industry. But now with global inflation, the easing of pandemic restrictions and supply chain difficulties coupled with a looming recession, analysts are less certain about the industry’s near-term outlook.

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