Placeholder listings on retailer Amazon’s UK site suggest gamers could be paying a premium for next-gen PS5 games alongside the expected steep hardware cost.
Amazon UK features dummy listings for games from several publishers currently displayed in this format: 2020 Dummy ASIN [publisher name] Game PS5.
Here are just a few examples:
Note that Amazon UK is steadily removing the number of listings for reasons currently unknown.
Each of these is accompanied by two price points – £59.99 and £69.99 (~$75 and ~$90, respectively).
The implication is that the pricing norm for console games may spike with the next-gen. Current PS5 AAA games launch at £49.99 ($60 in the United States).
It’s worth noting that placeholders often feature provisional details that retailers rectify as official information becomes available. Release dates are a prime example of this: We’ve all seen December 31 listed as the release date even though publishers have yet to confirm a launch date.
Yet retailers rarely list games with placeholder prices, even for games without a firm release date.
Take, for example, From Software’s upcoming Elden Ring, which is due to drop sometime this year. The Amazon pre-order listing prices Elden Ring at £49.99 , although From Software and publisher Bandai Namco remain tight-lipped about a release date.
These filler listings for PS5 titles potentially hint at a price hike for next-gen consoles. The variation in prices from £60 to £70 also suggests price tags will differ depending on the game, with AAA titles fetching a higher premium than AA or indie efforts, as is already the case.
While this may foreshadow some bitter news for gamers, Sony has made no secret that next-gen games will cost more to develop.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan remarked last week that PS5 games would be “slightly more human-intensive and capital intensive to produce.” He expects development budgets to increase as a consequence.
Logic dictates that publishers will want to pass on these additional costs to consumers to recoup production costs. After all, they are in the business for profit, and something needs to give for them to take on the heightened financial risk of making games.
That said, we can’t confirm that Amazon’s new listings bear the correct price of PS5 games. We’ve heard nothing from Sony and Microsoft on that front, but this is unsurprising.
It’s news best left to the last stretch before launch when hype levels peak, and gamers are less likely to make a fuss about a price hike.