Sony is making the leap into the next generation when the PlayStation 5 arrives this November. The company has also announced a fairly shocking shift in pricing. After the full reveal event for the console Wednesday, it has now been confirmed that a handful of Sony-published PS5 games will retail for $69.99, a $10 premium over current standard video game prices.
Two Sony-published launch titles, Bluepoint Games’ Demon’s Souls remake and Lucid Games’ Destruction AllStars, will both be priced at $69.99 when they launch. It’s likely that Final Fantasy 16 will as well, although this is purely speculation. Spider-Man: Miles Morales from Insomniac will come in under the mark at $49.99. There will however be an Ultimate Edition of the game, which includes a remastered version of the PlayStation 4 game Marvel’s Spider-Man, for $69.99. Other price points for non-AAA releases have been revealed around the previous $60 highmark as well.
Publisher 2K Sports laid the groundwork for a next-gen console game price hike back in July, when it announced that NBA 2K21 would be priced at $69.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The publisher said at the time that the high price point “fairly represents the value of what’s being offered: power, speed and technology that is only possible on new hardware.”
The pricing structure for the PS5 variants likely had something to do with this. Microsoft came out of the gate storming and launched aggressively-priced Xbox variants at either $299 or $499. That likely forced Sony to make a shift to a bigger loss-leader strategy. It’s likely that Sony is banking on that extra $10 in prices to be split between Sony and development costs at the studio level. This may not help deal with other issues at the core of game development right now, but it was inevitable.
The fan reaction to this has been mixed at best. Some users don’t mind paying more for next-gen games. Although the expectation is that these games won’t need, or at least shouldn’t have, aggressive monetization and microtransactions. Although it’s all but guaranteed that we’ll perennial scumbag publishers push gambling and loot boxes into some games, all while charging $70 for the basic version. And you best believe we’re getting some absurd $300 Collector’s Editions too.