Ultra-rare Nintendo PlayStation prototype up for auction

Joanna Estrada
February 14, 2020

Scarce components have caused the manufacturing costs of the PlayStation 5 to rise to around $450 per unit, "forcing a hard price-setting decision in its battle with Microsoft". That puts Sony in an enormous world of pain, considering the PS4's estimated manufacturing cost was $US381, compared to its original launch price of $US399.

The biggest problem Sony is facing in regards to the PlayStation 5 is a "reliable supply of DRAM and NAND flash memory". Samsung Electronics Co. just announced its Galaxy S20 product range, each variant of which will have 5G and a minimum of 12GB of RAM in the U.S.

If Sony were to make a profit on each console sold, the cost of the PS5 would be enormous - $699 in Australian terms, or even higher factoring in expenses from shipping and distribution.

"At one time, this particular unit was owned by the founder, first president, and first chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc". However, sources claim that Sony is split on whether it should sell the console at a loss, if necessary, to match the Xbox Series X or find a way to make the PS5 profitable as it is.

But while the two were talking, prototype "Sony PlayStation SNES" hardware was being tested - and one such unit made headlines in 2015 after turning up, a little worn but still working.

Separately, Sony plans to release a new version of the PlayStation VR virtual-reality headset, tentatively scheduled after the PlayStation 5 goes on sale, the people said.

While most of PlayStation 5's components are reportedly locked down, including the "unusually expensive" cooling system to "make sure heat dissipation from the powerful chips housed inside the console isn't an issue", Bloomberg cites "several people with knowledge of the matter" who said that some previously planned features for a new mirror-less camera have been cancelled due to the constrained DRAM supply. It now has the ability to play music CDs like the commercially produced PlayStation, but there is no proprietary software that's known to have been made during the prototype's development. If all things were similar with the PlayStation 5, Sony would have to have the PS5's price "be at least $470" to reach similar gross margin.

There is reportedly pressure from Sony Corporation CFO Hiroki Totoki to provide more transparency and information in the lead-up to PlayStation 5's launch this holiday season, which has led to some internal distress. The company held that meeting in late May past year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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