PlayStation boss Jim Ryan explained Sony’s decision to pass over on making a lower-cost, lower-spec console, citing that those kinds of hardware offerings haven’t done too well in the past.
In a translated interview with Japanese media outlet, Impress IGN independently verified, Ryan was asked why Sony didn’t announce a lower-cost PS5 designed with lower-specs.
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“First of all let me say that we respect the judgment and philosophy of our competitors. Obviously price is an important factor, and we respect the strategy of our competitors. That said, we are completely convinced of our strategy and its implications,” said Ryan.
“One thing I would say is that introducing a low-spec console at a low price range hasn’t produced pleasing results in this industry’s past. We have also considered such an approach, but I also know that other operators have tried and had problems.”
Ryan says the conclusion comes from research that says customers want to invest in a console for long-term and use it for as long as 7 years. “We want the products we buy to be future proof,” Ryan says. “We are not looking to buy a product that will become obsolete in a few years.”
Although Sony isn’t introducing a lower-spec model this generation, the company revealed the PS5 Digital, a cheaper system with the same specs as a standard PS5, except without a physical media drive. The digital PS5 costs $399 compared to the $499 physical media version.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has introduced a cheaper, lower-spec Xbox Series S that’s capable of playing games at 1440p compared to the Xbox Series X’s 4K. The Series S costs $299 compared to the $499 Xbox Series X and will be able to play all the same next-gen games and have access to Game Pass.
For more on next-gen consoles, check out our PS5 pre-order page which is regularly updated to help snag a pre-order for the PS5. The Xbox Series X and S will go on pre-order next week.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.