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Sony PlayStation 5 pricing: it will cost more than you hoped

The next generation of consoles will be here soon. Sony's PlayStation 5 will compete against the Xbox Series X in late 2020. While Sony hasn't yet released the full specifications of its next-generation PS5, interviews and unofficial leaks have occurred. Slowly fill in the picture – and it looks like the PS5 isn't cheap.

The CPU is an expensive upgrade.

Wired's interview with Mark Cerny, the leading system architect for PlayStation 5, revealed that the PlayStation 5 will use a third-generation AMD Ryzen processor. This represents a massive leap forward that will undoubtedly have ramifications for the price of the PS5.

PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro use AMD Jaguar hardware with eight cores as a reminder. Jaguar, which was not even up to date when the original PS4 was released, is a low-power architecture designed for efficiency. Sometimes inexpensive laptops and desktops were powered.

AnandTech tested the AMD Athlon 5350, a processor with four Jaguar cores, in 201

4. It turned out that the Athlon 5350 did not perform well in most benchmarks, even compared to affordable processors like an Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD FX-4300. While the PS4 had eight cores to compensate for Jaguar's low performance per core, the processor on the original PS4 was anemic compared to the PC desktops available at the time of its launch.

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The PS5 is a different story. It will have an eight-core Ryzen processor based on AMD's latest mainstream architecture. Compared to a high-end desktop CPU that can easily cost $ 300 to $ 500 (or more), it doesn't seem to be expensive. But it will cost tens of dollars in the unit cost of the PS5. That adds up.

The GPU is another expensive upgrade.

This also applies to the GPU, which is based on AMD's Radeon Navi and offers ray tracing support. This is the most modern hardware. AMD's Navi GPUs arrived for PC in late 2019, though they don't currently support ray tracing.

Sony has not said how the navigation hardware will be specified in the PS5, but leaks suggest that the PS5 will have 36 navigation devices. This makes the console comparable to the AMD Radeon 5600 XT, a graphics card that is normally sold today for $ 280. Sony's actual cost will of course be much lower, but the graphics will remain a significant part of the unit cost.

For comparison: The PS4 was launched with an AMD Radeon GPU based on Graphics Core Next 2.0. GCN 2.0 was relatively new at the time because it had only arrived in PC graphics cards a few months earlier. However, the stated raw computing power of the chip of 1.84 TFLOPs was an entry-level model, far behind the best PC graphics cards.

If the rumored 36 computation units of the PS5 apply, a more impressive performance goal is aimed for. This would reconcile the console's raw GPU performance with a mid-range high-end gaming PC. The PS5 appears to offer more impressive hardware than the PlayStation 4 when released.

The solid-state drive is expensive the PS4 debuted, but too expensive for consoles (a single drive often cost hundreds of dollars). For this reason, the loading times of games on consoles are delayed compared to a humble PC.

Sony plans to fix this in the PlayStation 5. The solid state drive is an important function. Sony promises drastic reductions in loading times and smoother asset loading in large open world games. But like any other upgrade, it will be expensive.

According to a Bloomberg report, fluctuating prices for DRAM (for short-term memory) and NAND (for system memory) have significantly increased the price of the PlayStation 5. The prices of these key components can rise significantly as many modern devices need them. PCs, smartphones, tablets and IoT devices (Internet of Things) for end users often need one or both.

According to the report, storage prices have raised the unit cost of PS5 to $ 450. For comparison, it took an estimated $ 381 to build Sony's original PS4. Sony's PS4 Pro was cheaper to launch at an estimated cost of around $ 317.

Watch out for hard drive gadgets.

The higher price for solid-state drives remains a problem for device manufacturers who want to offer a device at the lowest possible price. This often leads to a compromised entry-level version with a small SSD at a low entry price.

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Every company plays this game. The base MSRP of the Apple MacBook Air is $ 1,199, but a tiny 128 GB SSD is included. You pay $ 1,399 for the 256GB model. The Google Pixel 4 costs from $ 800, but only has 64 GB of storage. The 128 GB version costs $ 100 more.

Sony will face the same problem with the PS5. It may offer an entry-level version with 256 GB of storage – but most players know that this is enough for just a few games. The model that most people want will have a 512 GB drive and will be more expensive. Do you want the 1 TB model? Expect to pay at least $ 100, maybe even $ 200, more than the base price.

Offering a lean memory model is a tactic that Sony can use to get a lower price than expected while maintaining a higher price for the version Most people buy. I'm surprised if Sony doesn't go that route.

The PlayStation 5 costs $ 500.

My best guess, based on the information so far, the price of previous PS4 and PS4 Pro models and the price, new components are planned for the PS5, a retail price of $ 500. This assumes that it will have a 512 GB solid state drive.

A price of $ 500 would be higher than any other PS4, but Sony's early comments on the PS5 suggest the company is taking a premium approach to the console. It is also possible – even likely, I think – that PS4 consoles will continue to be sold as a starter for a few more years.

The high price could be offset by a base model with a 256 GB solid-state drive, which may have a price tag of $ 450. On the other hand, Sony could end up rating a 1TB model – what serious gamers want – for $ 600 or more.

These prices may seem disappointing, but Microsoft's Xbox Series X could be even more expensive. Leaks indicate that it may contain more navigation computing units than the PS5, which increases the price. The Xbox Series X may also consume 300 watts of power, which results in a more complex and expensive cooler.

Remember that the Sony PS5 supports 8K TVs, PSVR and 3D audio, all of which promise the best gaming experience for your living room. Because of this, it will likely squeeze you for $ 500.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of digital trends.

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