Nintendo could be setting a precedent for increasing prices across the gaming industry with its new Nintendo Switch OLED coming in at a higher price point. Sony is reportedly “closely monitoring” the situation surrounding the new more expensive Switch, and could opt to make some pricing changes of its own depending on the results. The long term effects of this could result in a PS5 price increase as demand remains high and consumers show they are willing to pay more.
A report in The Japan Times indicates that eyes across the industry are locked on Nintendo. With the new Switch OLED not offering any hardware upgrades to the standard Switch (besides an OLED screen and a built in ethernet port), yet retailing at $50 more, it may be the baseline for a new standard in increases on hardware price without any notable improvements to the hardware itself.
Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said that Nintendo’s experiment with the Switch OLED pricing model “could set a precedent for charging more across the industry.” The report from The Japan Times also spoke with an anonymous individual within the PlayStation division at Sony who indicated that the company is “closely monitoring the market response” to the new Switch OLED. We’ve seen similar reactions to increased software prices across the industry since the debut of the new-generation of consoles too.
The PS5 first launched in November 2020, but even eight months after launch, the new-gen console is nearly impossible to find. With stock constantly selling out, and the resale market fetching prices up to double the retail value of the PS5 thanks in part to scalpers scooping up inventory, it looks like Sony may be mulling a PS5 price increase in some manner. Whether this comes with the reported hardware revision that’s coming up, or if Sony is just considering raising the suggested retail price of the existing console remains to be seen (if indeed they do anything at all), but its clear that Nintendo’s risky bet to see if consumers will buy into the more expensive Switch OLED could end up having pricing repercussions across the industry.