The PlayStation 5 is one of the most expensive gaming consoles we’ve seen in years.
These consoles are also out of stock almost everywhere online.
If you do manage to find a PS5 for sale, it’s going to be marked up by resellers.
There have been PlayStation 5s that have sold for well over $1,000.
In fact, this rush for PS5s has even driven the PS4 back up to prices it hasn’t seen since its release.
Let’s take a look at what’s driving these prices so high and how you can get a PS5 for its retail cost.
Why Is PlayStation 5 So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Supply And Demand
Here’s one simple concept for understanding why the PS5 is currently so expensive.
One of the basic laws of economics is known as supply and demand.
When supply is low and demand is high, the price of goods goes up accordingly.
Right now, there aren’t nearly enough PlayStation 5s to go around.
This means that the prices of available units are going to be much higher than they normally would be.
Just think about the launch of any new game console or highly sought-after piece of tech.
Prices are always at their highest right when things are launched.
This is partly because companies know that early adopters are more willing to withstand higher prices early on, but it also has to do with how quickly these things go out of stock.
PlayStation 5 went out of stock virtually everywhere almost immediately after it first went on sale.
In fact, it’s still very hard to find a PS5 for sale from a standard retailer.
Supply of PlayStation 5s is still very low while demand is still incredibly high.
This is going to keep the cost of these gaming consoles higher than normal until things start to balance out.
With this question in mind, we should consider a few of the reasons supply has been so low, and demand has been so high.
2. Sony Planned For Fewer Sales
One of the reasons the supply of the PlayStation 5 console has been so low is that Sony planned for this.
Rather than launching out of the gate with a boundless supply of PlayStation 5 consoles, Sony aimed for a much more restrained launch.
There are a few factors to consider when thinking about why Sony would intentionally limit the number of PlayStation 5s that they could potentially sell in their first year.
The first thing to consider here is profit.
Nintendo regularly does this with its consoles and accessories.
It’s been a proven and successful strategy for Sony’s biggest rival, so it makes sense that they’d take on this strategy themselves.
Another thing to consider is the historically unprecedented events we’ve gone through in the last two years.
The coronavirus pandemic has made markets unstable across the board.
Sony must have been hedging their bets and going for a more sustainable launch this time around.
The PlayStation 5 is also a historically powerful gaming console.
This means it requires demanding and powerful technology.
The price of cutting-edge tech is always higher than the last generation’s models.
Sony also went for a smaller launch hoping that production costs would drop in the coming year.
Another reason these consoles are so expensive is how gaming habits have changed in the last year or so.
3. COVID Changing Gaming Habits
The coronavirus pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives.
One of the lesser discussed things that have changed during the course of the pandemic is how people play video games.
By some estimations, people are gaming 45% more during the covid pandemic than they were before.
This is going to have a major impact on the cost of gaming consoles and accessories.
With more people entering the market, there is going to be a higher demand for gaming gear.
This is naturally going to drive up the cost and the scarcity of the latest models being released by the big three console gaming companies.
Just as we’ve seen Nintendo Switch consoles sell out time and time again during the covid pandemic, we’re also seeing PlayStation 5 consoles sell out just as quickly.
This is also driving up the cost of these consoles.
With so many people looking to purchase a PlayStation 5 for themselves, their children, or other people in their lives, retailers know that they can charge a premium for the PS5 and still get buyers coming in the door by the dozens.
There’s been another big change in who buys PlayStation 5 consoles during the covid-19 pandemic.
We need to talk about how scalping affects prices.
4. COVID Also Changed Who Buys PS5’s
Resellers, or scalpers as they are known by people who find their business distasteful, are changing how console prices hit the market.
At the start of the covid pandemic, many scalpers got the opportunity to turn to new markets in order to make even more money.
This has fundamentally changed how we see the cost of gaming consoles when they first hit the market.
Here’s how it works.
A retailer puts up the latest video game console for sale and anyone with access to the website can purchase it for its retail value.
Scalpers use advanced software to quickly go through purchases and then buy up all of the consoles that they can.
They then resell them on other websites for a premium price.
Some scalpers were even getting triple the value for PlayStation 5 consoles early in their release cycle.
Covid has caused a lot of economic uncertainty and unemployment.
Individuals who formerly made their money reselling clothing and other items have turned to video game consoles as a way to keep making money.
This has naturally shifted how much these video game consoles are going to cost not just for now, but for years to come.
Now that scalpers know that new release video game consoles are a great return on investment, they’re going to be more likely to continue buying them during the early release in the future.
This means that the next generation of consoles is going to face the same price speculation and early release hikes as the PS5 did.
Online forums like Reddit are full of advice for how to get PlayStation 5 consoles at prices that are lower than what scalpers are offering.
The reaction to this new trend in reselling PlayStation 5s early in their release has caused ripples throughout the gaming community.
Some people see this as the natural reaction of individuals looking to make more money in tough times, while others see this as scalpers preying on people who are looking for a little bit of entertainment during the covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re looking to get some of his advice and find out how to get a cheap PS5, keep reading to the end of this article.
5. The High Cost of Parts Has Increased Console Prices
One big thing to keep in mind is just how much the price of materials for a PlayStation 5 console has gone up.
The PlayStation 5 is historically one of the cheapest consoles ever released when adjusted for inflation, but that doesn’t mean so much when we were talking about real-world dollars and the money we have in our wallets today.
One of the reasons the PlayStation 5 is so expensive is that the cost of materials has gone up dramatically.
More and more of today’s devices are dependent on the same raw materials that used to be reserved for computing technology.
It turns out that making everything into smart technology versions of what it used to be has had unintended consequences throughout the economy.
All of those processors, rare-earth minerals, and other necessary components are now being distributed across a wide range of industries.
Your smart refrigerator now uses some of the same technology that used to be reserved for computers and gaming consoles.
This means that the companies that sell these materials can start to charge more because their demand has gone up.
This means that the bottom-line cost for Sony developing their new console has increased.
In order to make up for that higher cost, they have to charge more for their PlayStation 5 than they did for previous consoles.
One of the leading reasons these costs have gone up so dramatically is the chip shortage that has been all over the news.
6. The Chip Shortage
We’re currently in the middle of a global shortage of semiconductors.
This is driving up the cost of technology across the board, and it’s worth taking a look at what’s going on with the shortage of chips and processors.
The first reason for the shortage is probably the most obvious.
Demand for consumer electronics has gone through the roof.
One of the effects of the covid-19 pandemic has been increased demand for personal electronics.
Whether individuals need a new laptop in order to work from home or they’re looking to expand their home entertainment options, companies across the board are now racing to fulfill demand by buying up all of the processors and semiconductors that they can find.
Another reason has to do with how the production of semiconductors has changed in the last few years.
Companies used to design and manufacture semiconductors in-house.
This means that the same company that designed the semiconductor would then go on to produce them.
There’s been a new change in how industrial companies design and manufacture their goods.
This is called “fabless” design.
This means that there are now two types of companies.
There are the companies that just design these products and separate companies, called foundries, which produce them.
This shift has caused a massive shortage in the amounts of materials that are being supplied to the world.
This is largely due to a production lag between the design process and the now separate and outsourced manufacturing process.
The last thing to consider was the impact of the 2019 trade war.
One of the unintended consequences of this governmental policy was a Chinese semiconductor factory being hit with new restrictions.
This dramatically reduced their ability to meet demand which included countless companies that supply Americans with the technologies that we are eager to purchase—like the PS5.
These three factors have come together to create something of a perfect storm for a shortage of semiconductors, but they’re not the only things putting the squeeze on the number of chips available today.
7. The Cryptocurrency Boom And The PS5 Shortage
Another unexpected consequence of this chip shortage has caused cryptocurrency miners and gamers to square off in separate corners.
Graphics cards are currently at a premium across the board when it comes to technology.
A decade ago, your graphics card was likely not the single most expensive part of your personal computer.
However, today, the graphics card is considered one of the most sought-after items in all of computing.
What has been the cause of this change?
We’re currently experiencing a cryptocurrency boom, and this is causing cryptocurrency miners to buy up graphics cards and other processing chips in order to continue mining cryptocurrencies.
This means that chips that could be going toward lowering the cost of the PlayStation 5 are instead being diverted to graphics cards that are then sold to bitcoin miners.
Industry leaders are speculating that there isn’t a clear end in sight for this conflict.
Cryptocurrency is still on the rise, and as long as that trend continues, it will continue to increase the demand for graphics cards and processors.
This is naturally going to cut into the market share that gaming technology used to have for these same materials.
This is just one of the factors that increased the cost of the PlayStation 5.
Another reason the cost of this gaming console is so high has to do with its demanding memory needs.
8. The Cost Of Computing Memory
You can fit the entire gaming catalog of the Super Nintendo on a flash drive.
One PS5 game can take more than 50 GB to properly install.
The amount of memory our games need has gone up dramatically over the last few years.
If you want to play the most cutting-edge games, you’re going to need plenty of storage to back it up.
The cost of storage is one of the driving costs of the PS5.
In order to load multiple games on your PS5, you’re going to need plenty of memory.
The PlayStation 5 already comes packed with plenty of memory, but that might not be enough for all users.
Expanding the memory is also going to expand the cost of this gaming console.
Add this to the already high cost of the memory built into the device, and you are looking at a pretty hefty price tag.
The cost of solid-state memory has also been going up over the last few years.
This gives us a little hint at the next driving factor for the PS5’s cost.
The ticket price of the PS5 and the real-world price of the PS5 are two very different things.
9. The Real-World Cost Of The PS5
If you’re lucky enough to find a PlayStation 5 at a retailer, it’s going to cost you $499.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg for how much a PlayStation 5 really costs.
Here’s what we mean when we say the real-world cost of a PlayStation 5.
In order to get the most out of your console, you’re going to need a few extra things that are going to drive up the real cost of what individuals will spend on a PlayStation 5.
There are some pretty obvious costs right out of the gate.
In order to use your PlayStation 5, you also need to spend plenty of money on games.
Gamers are also going to be purchasing extra controllers, headsets, and other accessories to enhance their gaming experience.
On top of all of this, we have to deal with rising electricity costs as well as the cost of high-speed internet.
All of these factors come together to increase what individuals are actually spending on the PlayStation 5 well above the $499 price tag.
The last cost we’re going to look at on this list is a surprising factor that is raising the cost of the PS5.
10. The Global Shipping Crisis
The veritable icing on this cake is the fact that we are currently going through a global shipping crisis.
Recent news about a boat being stuck in the Suez Canal is only the tip of the global shipping crisis.
Between changing manufacturing standards, outsourcing, and the covid-19 pandemic, global shipping has never experienced greater demand and higher strain than it currently is.
One of the things getting lost in the shuffle is not just the PlayStation 5 console, but also the parts that they’re made out of.
This shortage has led to rising costs for consumer electronics.
With both the devices themselves as well as their parts currently stuck in shipping all over the world, costs have naturally gone up across the board.
If you want to get a PlayStation 5 and not pay any of these marked-up costs, what do you need to do?
How Can I Get A Cheap PlayStation 5?
PlayStation 5 consoles are currently out of stock almost everywhere.
In fact, resellers have them going for over $1,000 in some of the common online markets.
What should you do if you’re looking to get a PlayStation 5 for closer to its retail price tag of $499?
The first thing you should do is set alerts at all of the common retailers that will sell PlayStation 5s.
Signing up for email lists and setting up alerts will help get you ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing who’s going to have the PS5 in stock and when.
Keeping up with gaming news is also a great way to stay on top of PlayStation 5 costs.
It’s common for many of the bigger gaming news websites to do round-up articles of who has the PS5 for sale and for how much.
The last strategy we’re going to mention is a time-honored and historically proven method.
As the covid-19 pandemic starts to get a little easier for the world to handle and the initial rush of the PS5 fades away, the price of these consoles will naturally start to dip back down to their retail price tag.