See update below.
[Original Story 6/16/20)
Amazon France briefly listed the PlayStation 5’s price and release date before taking that information out of the listing.
This comes via Ben Geskin on Twitter, who stumbled on the listing prior to Amazon scrubbing it. He took screenshots, however, and those aren’t going anywhere.
Geskin, a content creator and concept designer with over 100,000 Twitter followers, tweeted this screenshot:
The listing has since been removed, and it’s entirely possible that the information isn’t accurate—as with all leaks, take this one with a grain of salt.
But it is interesting and not at all unbelievable. Amazon France lists the release date for the PS5 as November 20th, 2020—right smack-dab in the middle of Holiday shopping season, and one week before Black Friday. I wouldn’t expect any crazy Black Friday deals on brand new video game consoles but there may be some bundles and certainly current-gen systems will be cheaper than ever.
The Amazon France listing has prices for both the PS5 and PS5 Digital Only editions. The PS5 is listed at €499 and the Digital Edition clocks in at €399. This converts to approximately $565 USD and $450 USD respectively (£447/£358 in the UK).
That’s quite expensive, and certainly more than I expected Sony to sell the new machine. Then again, around $450 for the Digital Edition seems reasonable and honestly that seems like the way to go. I almost never watch Blu-Rays these days given that most of my TV and movie watching is via streaming services. Same with games. I rarely pop a disc into any of my consoles.
I do have a lot of older games on discs, and I suppose that’s something to consider with backward compatibility, but the vast majority of games I’ve gotten in the past three or four years have been digital. I also think the Digital Edition looks better than the oddly bulging regular PS5 which, let’s face it, has a beer belly. It’s too young to have a beer belly, but there it is.
I’ll be very curious to see if these prices are the real deal or just placeholders. The date seems about right, but I still think that anything over $500 is crazy. My prediction has been the standard PS5 at $499 USD and the Digital at $399. Then again, these must be expensive to make given the fancy SSD.
If the PS5 costs $499/$399, Microsoft could either undercut the PS5 by launching the Xbox Series X at $399 or $449, or match at $499. The Xbox Series S (which is still not official) could release for $399 or even less. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an all-digital Series S as well at $299, though maybe Microsoft will simply release a disc-less Series X instead of a lower-powered machine. Who knows? We’re still waiting for official pricing from both Sony as they play an extended game of chicken. If the standard PS5 costs $565 (or, more likely, $549) Microsoft will be able to undercut Sony with ease.
Amazon has now stated that this image is faked. That’s not exactly a surprise.
“The screenshot showing a PS5 product page on amazon.fr with a price of 499€ and a release date on November 20 is a fake and is not coming from our website,” an Amazon France spokesperson told TechRadar.
This is why it’s important to take these rumors and leaks with grains of salt. This will probably not be the last time a fake listing or inaccurate leak lands, so take it all in stride. It’s still fun to speculate!
Speaking of which, a reader reminded me that the prices above—if they were real, that is—would reflect the European VAT tax. This means that prices in the US would be lower, since we don’t have an upfront sales tax. In other words, the Digital Edition would be $399 USD and the standard PS5 would be $499—plus tax.
This actually seems like the correct price to me—the price that Sony should launch these editions at. The PS5 shouldn’t cost more than $499 but it probably shouldn’t cost less, either. That’s because Sony should capitalize on early adopters who are willing to pay more for a premium product at launch. This gives Sony flexibility to lower the price and capture new segments of the market down the road, allowing more price elasticity as the PS5 gains a foothold in the market.
Price skimming, in other words, is an important strategy for a brand like PlayStation, which fierce fierce consumer loyalty as well as a wider casual market. Launching a high-demand next-gen console at too low a price-point could be just as detrimental as charging too much.
So this is a fake listing, but the prices could still be on the money, so to speak. The release date is a little harder to peg. The PS4 launched on November 15th, 2013. Meanwhile, Cyberpunk 2077 was just delayed (again) to November 19th, potentially aligning it as an Xbox Series X launch title. So even if November 20th is not correct, I suspect we’ll see the launch of both systems very near that date.