The PS5 price of $399 for the Digital Edition and $499 for the 'Blu-ray Edition' certainly helped in making Sony's next-generation console launch the greatest yet in terms of sales.
In an interview with EDGE (January 2021, issue 352), Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the PS5 price was decided before COVID lockdowns and never changed at all.
[...] we fixed on our product lineup late last year. Our preferred pricing was determined early in this calendar year, prelockdown. And we just got on and executed with what we wanted to do.
No, no, it didn’t [change], no. We’ve been able to launch PlayStation 5 at $399, €399, with all the horsepower and the feature set that the console has, at the same price that we launched PS4 back in 2013. That was important for us, and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to do that. 399 worked very well for us last time round and we’d like it to work very well for us this time round, too.
After talking about the PS5 price, Ryan highlighted that after what he called 'the best PlayStation launch lineup ever', the PS5 will also get big titles much earlier than the PS4 did, starting next year.
[...] the other thing I’d say is that the 2021 lineup is likewise of a different level than we’ve ever seen before. People rightly point back to our firstparty Worldwide Studios games as being one of the defining things about the PS4 generation. But often less remarked upon is the fact that the really great first party games came in the second part of the cycle. And we will have games of that quality, but we’re going to have them earlier in the cycle this time around.
It's an interesting comment from Jim Ryan, as his Microsoft counterpart Phil Spencer made it a point to note that the 2021 Holiday lineup will be more important than this year's.
It sounds like both Microsoft and Sony are gearing towards releasing plenty of big first-party produced titles next year, which is certainly great news for gamers. Look forward to learning more about them through our 'Most Anticipated Games of 2021' series of articles soon enough!