Potential PlayStation 5 Price Increase in U.S. Due to Tariffs

The PlayStation 5, expected for release during the holidays of 2020, may be getting a little more expensive. For well over a year, the United States has been increasing its tariffs with China in an attempt to bring in higher revenue from trade with the country; the next tariff move could mean higher prices for PlayStation consoles. If scheduled negotiations don’t go well, U.S. President Donald Trump is looking for a 150% increase in tariffs that will cover video game products from China.

The Wallstreet Journal reported on this yesterday that “Last month, Sony together with rivals Nintendo Co. and Microsoft Corp. submitted a letter to the U.S. trade representative’s office to make the case against tariffs.” Sony’s CFO, Hiroki Totoki, has made it clear that implementation of these tariffs will not necessarily end with an increase in prices, but they are exploring the option, as well as many others.

Hiroki Totoki

It’s no secret within the gaming industry that the next generation will likely be the most expensive one yet, even without the introduction of new tariffs. Both the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Project Scarlett are slated to hit the market with the latest and greatest GPU/CPU combination for consoles to date. They are also receiving solid-state drives (SSD) instead of traditional hard disk drives (HDD).

For those uneducated about the differences, HDDs use physical arms and disks to read and write data. SSDs generally come smaller and rely on electrical currents for data storage. SSDs are faster and more reliable because of this, but it comes at a literal price. The current cost for a typical 2 TB HDD hovers around USD $115, while SSDs come in at anywhere from $220 to $500. This won’t necessarily reflect the true difference in price from the PS4 to the PS5, but it shows the significant increase in price for Microsoft and Sony to make these consoles.

Yet another reason to increase the prices of these consoles is the last thing gamers need right now. This could potentially push the boundaries of what a lot of people are willing to pay for their gaming hardware. While the consoles, especially the PlayStation 5, will certainly sell plenty well, it’s easy to see how initial sales in the U.S. could be down thanks to these tariffs. It’s also possible that this could all be a relative wash, as PlayStations will likely cost the same in most other countries. It’s not exactly uncommon for people to buy a console from an online marketplace from a different country due to cheaper prices.

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