Sony hikes PS5 price on economic pressures, rising rates

The price hike comes as Sony's games business has been squeezed by supply chain snarls. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Sony said Thursday (Aug 25) it was hiking the price of its PlayStation 5 games console in Europe, Japan and Britain due to rising interest rates and other economic pressures.

Sony is raising the price of the disk drive-equipped version of the console to 549.99 euros (S$764.66) from 499.99 euros previously in Europe, with a similar hike in Japan.

The Japanese entertainment conglomerate said there would be no price increase in the United States, where it is locked in a battle with Microsoft's Xbox, which is aggressively expanding its games subscription service.

"We're seeing high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends, impacting consumers and creating pressure on many industries," Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan wrote in a blog post.

The price hike comes as Sony's games business has been squeezed by supply chain snarls feeding into hardware shortages, with the company aiming to boost PS5 production for the year-end shopping season.

While the price hike "is a necessity given the current global economic environment and its impact on SIE's business, our top priority continues to be improving the PS5 supply situation," Mr Ryan said.

Sony aims to sell 18 million units of the hit device in the current financial year after selling 11.5 million units in the year ended March.

"Although wide ranging, the PS5 price increases are relatively nuanced and are taking place in markets where the impact is being felt the most, with an added layer of squeeze coming from the strength of the US dollar," Ampere Analysis analyst Piers Harding-Rolls wrote in a blog post.

"Microsoft will take advantage of Sony's increase to push its 'value' message," he added.

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