“They Blew It”: Sony Losing $40 on Every PS5 Digital Edition Sold, According to Analyst

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When the PlayStation 5 launches next month, gamers will have two versions to choose from: a base model that costs $499.99, and a “Digital Edition” that ditches the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive for a cleaner profile and cheaper price. With the latter only costing $399.99, gamers have been wondering what kind of loss Sony might be taking on the console.

Michael Pachter may have the answer. During a recent discussion with GamingBolt, the infamous industry analyst claimed that Sony is losing $40 on every PS5 Digital Edition sold. This is actually less than what Sony was losing on the PlayStation 4 when it launched back in 2013 ($60, according to Eurogamer), but that hasn’t stopped Pachter from throwing dirt at the Japanese giant.

“I think Sony really blew it with that, because as far as we can tell, the cost of making a PlayStation 5 is $450, so they are breaking even on the $500 version, but losing $40 or so on the digital version,” Pachter said.

“A disc drive isn’t worth that much. So they’re losing $40, but they gain $6 more per digital game than they would gain otherwise. So you would have to buy a lot of games to cover up the loss, and I just think it’s unlikely many will buy that many games.”

We’re not sure how Pachter came to that conclusion (users typically amass a ton of games over the lifespan of a console), but he did insinuate that most PlayStation fans would be going for the $499 base model with disc drive, anyway.

“I actually don’t think many consumers will want to save the money, I think most would rather have the disc drive on hand so they have the option to take their game to their friend’s house or trade it in or whatever,” Pachter noted. “So I think they blew it with the Digital Edition, but it’s hard to tell early numbers, because it’s all sold out anyway, and we don’t know how many of each they made. But I think over the long run, they’ll sell and make fewer digital editions.”

The PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition will both be released on November 12.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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