The question of Sony increasing the price of its PlayStation came up during Sony's first quarter earnings call, and the answer from chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki was noticeably vague on the matter.
“About a potential price increase for the PS5, at this point in time there is nothing specific I can share with you about prices," said Totoki.
It's a question worth asking when you look at the rest of Sony's business. In April, Sony raised the Japanese prices of several of its consumer electronic devices, including Blu-Ray players and home theater systems. The increase in price was made due to several external issues, including the continual shortage of semiconductors that is affecting the production of games consoles for all console makers, including Sony.
During its earnings call, Sony revealed the PS5 has sold 21.7 million units to date since its 2020 release. Though numbers regarding playtime and first-party software sales have had a slight decline during the quarter, Sony still expects the PS5 to sell 18 million units by the end of the year.
You're gonna carry that cost
The possibility of a PS5 price increase comes days following Meta announcing its plans to increase the price of both models of its Quest 2 VR by $100. Meta's argument was that the price hike would benefit VR, but reactions to this have been skeptical on that front.
Totoki added that Sony was unable to ship enough PS5s to meet consumer demand during Q1, calling the supply issues and lack of available parts "the two big constraints we were imposed with." Though he's hopeful that improvements to manufacturing will come with the availability of components, he was less sure about the supply chain.
“For supply chain disruption, we actually took quite a hit in the first quarter," Totoki admitted. "In the first quarter, hardware volume for sales were quite smaller than we expected at the beginning of the year, so supply chain disruption is something that we hope will be completely addressed.”
Analysts have recently predicted that due to the semiconductor shortage, which is believed to continue through 2022, chip makers will increase their prices, and manufacturers could in turn pass on that cost to products bought by consumers, such as game consoles and cars.