Sony hasn’t exactly been doling out the good news recently, it seems. Between selling collector’s editions of games without even including a disc, to launching a new subscription service that some have found to be underwhelming, it hasn’t been great at the top of the gaming mountain. However, Sony may have done irreparable damage to their reputation by upping the prices of the PS5 in most markets.
In a blog post from Sony, the tech giant cites the price increase across most of the world to the ongoing market pressure and increased inflation. It’s true that a lot of the world is dealing with a cost of living crisis, particularly in the UK, as various factors like the war in Ukraine are causing prices to skyrocket, but it’s hard to believe that Sony are feeling the pinch this much that they have to up the prices by £30.
£30 might not sound like a lot when you’re already planning on spending £450 on a brand new console, but for some people, that extra bit of money could be the obstacle that makes a new PlayStation physically unobtainable. Throw in the fact that Sony exclusives now seem to retail for £70 instead of £50-£60, and it’s beginning to feel like PlayStation is more becoming the brand for the “elite”. I don’t mean that as a compliment.
What’s more likely is that people will see the price rise and decide not to purchase a PlayStation just on principle. Being forced to pay more for a console two years after it’s launched seems like a poor move designed to screw over the consumer, especially when Sony seems to be ramping up PS5 production for the Christmas season after the recent conductor shortage. Sony stands to gain more money than ever from PlayStation sales, but with the price increase, they might have shot themselves in the foot on even making that profit.
This seems especially like Sony being greedy when Nintendo and Xbox haven’t crossed that inflation line yet, with both companies refusing to commit to raising prices. While neither have ruled out raising the prices for their consoles, both have stated they have no current plans to do so. The thing is, even if either or both companies do raise their prices, they won’t be the first. Sony will always go down in history as the ones to cross that inflation line, and that’s the type of action that can taint a company’s reputation.
If Nintendo and Xbox suddenly decide to up the prices for their consoles too, that would also be gross. However, there’s people out there defending Sony raising the prices arbitrarily, which just seems ridiculous. How can Sony raising the prices of a console nearly two years after it launched be a defensible position? It can be an understandable one, as merchants and vendors raise the prices of the pieces needed to manufacture the console, but Sony is a trillion dollar company. Does it really need to split hairs over an extra £30 per console?
With the prices of gas, energy and even food rising by astronomical levels, hearing about the PS5 being sold for less than 10% more might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things. However, look how much comfort and safety gaming brought for people during the pandemic. With the current crisis, gaming could be that same service once again, so making that more expensive too feels like a real kick in the teeth.
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