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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

If You Want a PlayStation 5 in 2023, You Can Get One at MSRP

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That took a while, but I admit it's progress.

Two and a half years ago (November 2020), Sony Interactive Entertainment released the PlayStation 5 to market. For quite some time, it has experienced low supply and high demand at its $500 base price point, and potential customers found themselves at the mercy of scalping resellers that jacked up the price to something closer to what it should've economically been the whole time.

In 2022, Sony decided to raise the MSRP (the manufacturer's suggested retail price, though Sony appears to call it the RRP, or recommended retail price) of the PlayStation 5 everywhere on Earth... except for the United States of America. At the time, the PlayStation 5 was STILL unavailable at the normal retail outlets. Sony cited rising worldwide inflation rates for their price increase, ignoring that the United States Dollar was also suffering inflation and thinking that no one would appear to notice that. I opined that Sony should've raised the price in America, and it should've been a higher price to begin with. Well, about that...

Buy PlayStation 5 Direct Sony United States Dollars Great British Pounds prices 2023
Hey, look, a Call of Duty bundle on the PlayStation 5 Direct purchase website (United Kingdom).
Maybe this is why the CMA blocked the Microsoft acquisition of Activision!

To this day, those recommended prices are still the order of the day outside of the USA, and to this day, the regular PlayStation 5 in the USA's regular prices are still 500 USD and 400 USD for the digital edition console. Here is what's new: You can actually buy a PlayStation 5 now. That includes directly from Sony, from Amazon, from Best Buy, from GameStop, from Target, wherever you expect to be able to buy a PlayStation 5, it's actually in-stock and sold at the suggested retail price. All without raising what the price is.

That would mean that my opinion back in 2022 was partially wrong, or at least it would be unnecessary for Sony to have raised the price on an economical basis. But it's quite possible that all of the price increases around the world were also unnecessary, and it would have been a good idea had Sony released the PlayStation 5 at a higher price to begin with. (They also might've possibly lost revenue by not increasing the American price along with everyone else's, if enough people would've bought a PlayStation 5 at, say, $550.)

Several other media outlets are discussing that the scalper market has pretty much died out now, since if you look at second-hand marketplaces like eBay, the prices are much closer to or even below MSRP. I view things differently. Scalpers play a role in the marketplace that shows what something ought to be really priced, assuming that customers actually purchase from the scalper. (Which is in the scalper's best interest.)

All of the profit scalpers make is profit that Sony and their retail distribution partners should've been making, because that's what it should've been priced to begin with. That is good information for Sony and others to know. It can help affect future decisions, or it can have their executives curse themselves out at night. It's all really Sony's fault, because the scalpers’ overpricing is also a function of Sony's undersupplying, and Sony should have been more responsible with their marketing plans, supply chain systems, and manufacturing. I mean, they knew there was a global chip shortage and they were short of all of the supplies they would require while they had their big release of the new console... what did they expect?

Ludwig doesn't have a PlayStation 5, and he doesn't want one. He sometimes wishes he was in the scalper business. Clearly, he is unlike most people in the media in that, rather than celebrating the incorrect business decisions and possible financial ruin of scalpers, he expresses sympathy for their cause.


  1. Now I can easily get a PS5 if I ever want to play an enhanced version of the giraffe petting simulator. And also for Stray.

  2. I wonder if the supply chain shortage will extend the PS5s lifetime or if it will shorten it. I suppose they wouldn't want to put out the PS6 so soon, but if they misinterpret current lower sales as uninterest, then who knows. I can't believe it's already been two years, time really does fly. In other news, The hungry clock went back four seconds!

    1. I think it'll lengthen it, since for a long time now, PS5 games have also been releasing on PS4 too. Like, the PS5 has very few exclusives, meaning very little reason to buy one.

      Maybe now its lifespan can properly begin.

  3. I'll finally be getting one now to play FFXVI. It's weird that we're already a couple years into its life with so few exclusives, though.

    1. It's a reason I agree with the criticism that Sony is a lazy market leader (which is why Microsoft should be allowed to buy out Activision).


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