There were already speculations about how COVID-19 could impact the release plans of PlayStation 5 and that apparently holds true but only partially.
According to a report by Bloomberg earlier today, sources close to the matter have confirmed that Sony will be opting for a limited launch by producing fewer PlayStation 5 consoles within the first year as compared to PlayStation 4 for the same period. However, that decision has more to do with the expected higher price of the console at the start than the wrench thrown in by COVID-19.
PlayStation 5 is said to be priced around $500 to $550 due to its ambitious specifications. The increased cost and scarce availability of components are reportedly factors that have found Sony struggling to find a sweet spot. As such, the console will be above the much-wished $400 to $450 threshold and why Sony believes will result in lesser sales.
Hence, while COVID-19 has not impacted production, only 5 to 6 million PlayStation 5 consoles have been ordered ahead for the first fiscal year ending March 2021, according to the report. In comparison, 7.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold during the same period back then.
Furthermore, Sony has no plans to delay PlayStation 5. The only reason the next-generation console will be pushed into 2021 is if Microsoft decides to do the same for Xbox Series X, which the company has stated will not happen. PlayStation 5, as well as Xbox Series X, are still enroute to release worldwide during the holiday season at the end of the year.
Something concerning though, is that the pandemic has greatly affected the promotional plans of PlayStation 5. Sony is said to possibly forgo hosting a public press conference altogether to reveal its new console in light of public safety. Even the recent reveal of DualSense was not planned, according to sources, and had to be done quickly because of fears that the controller would be leaked.