PlayStation 5 has already been speculated to be costly but its next-generation games, particularly triple-a, will also prove to be more expensive to make.
Speaking with Games Industry in a recent interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan stated that the kind of jaw-dropping gameplay as shown in the recent Unreal Engine 5 demo will not come cheap. Trying to reproduce something similar on PlayStation 5 will require a lot more resources and a much larger development budget than what many believe.
I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, [the games] will become slightly more human intensive and capital intensive to produce. So yes, we think there probably will be an increase in development budgets.
Sony has already been confirmed to be focusing on PlayStation 5-only exclusives, meaning that first-party next-generation games will not be releasing for older consoles. Ryan noted that the shift in strategy will “provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetise against.” In other words; if Sony can continue to sustain a player-base with a stream of PlayStation 5-only games, developers can endure the increase in development cost for next-generation projects.
Ryan also re-confirmed in the same interview that PlayStation 5 is still on track to launch worldwide around the holiday season at the end of the year. COVID-19 will not impact manufacturing or shipping and hence, players should not be expecting a delay.
Sony is currently gearing up for a special PlayStation 5 reveal in the next few days. The way the livestream is being hyped, many fans are expecting a range of both first- and third-party games to be announced. Mark your calendars for June 4, 2020.