Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Today, Sony has shocked many people by announcing that the cost of a PS5 console is set to rise in many parts of the world due to "high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends, impacting consumers and creating pressure on many industries." The rise won't impact the US (the dollar is still quite strong) but will affect Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, China and Canada.

For example, in the UK the price of a disc-based PS5 console will rise to £479.99 – a hike of £30. The news has predictably gone down like a lead balloon, and we thought it might be interesting to see how the cost of a PS5 in 2022 compares to what Sony has been charging for its previous consoles over the past few decades.

PlayStation Console Prices

PlayStation 1

The original PlayStation, which launched in 1994, retailed for 39,800 Yen / US$299 / £299 at launch – a significant reduction on the $399.99 being asked by Sega for the Saturn, the PlayStation's closest rival. By May 1996, Sony slashed the price of the system to $199 in North America, and by 2002, it had come all the way down to $49.

Region Date of price change Price
United States Sept 1995 $299 (launch price)
United States May 1996 $199 (-$100)
United States March 1997 $149 (-$50)
United States Aug 1998 $129 (-$20)
United States Aug 1999 $99 (-$30)
United States May 2002 $49 (-$50)

PlayStation 2

Image: Time Extension

Amazingly, Sony maintained the exact same launch price for the PlayStation 2 six years later, and cut the cost to $199 in May 2002. The lowest price the PS2 sold for was $99, a cut which took place in April 2009.

Region Date of price change Price
United States Oct 2000 $299 (launch price)
United States May 2002 $199 (-$100)
United States May 2003 $179 (-$20)
United States May 2004 $149 (-$30)
United States April 2006 $129 (-$20)
United States April 2009 $99 (-$30)

PlayStation 3

Image: Time Extension

By the time the PlayStation 3 arrived in 2006, its base cost had rocketed to $499.99 for the 20 GB model and $599.99 for the 60 GB model. Remarkably, even at these prices, Sony was rumoured to be losing as much as $300 on each console sold (by 2008, it was believed that each console cost Sony about $400 to make thanks to falling production costs). Sony discontinued the 20GB model in 2007, and cut the price of the 60GB version to $499. The PS3 Slim was introduced in 2009 at $269 for 250GB model and $299 for 500GB model.

Region Date of price change Price
United States Nov 2006 $499 20GB (launch price)

$599 60GB

United States April 2007 Discontinued 20GB model
United States July 2007 $499 on 60GB model (-$100)
United States Aug 2007 Introduce 80GB model at $599
United States Oct 2007 Discontinued 60GB model

$499 on 80GB model (-$100)

United States Nov 2007 Introduced 40GB model ($399)
United States Sept 2008 Discontinued 40GB model

$399 on 80GB model (-$100)

United States Nov 2008 Introduced 160 GB model ($499)
United States Aug 2009 Introduced PS3 Slim 120GB ($299)
$299 on 80GB model (-$100)
$399 on 160GB model (-$100)
United States Sept and Oct 2012 Introduced PS3 Super Slim
$269 for 250GB (bundle launch price)
$299 for 500GB (launch price)

PlayStation 4

Image: Time Extension

Sony wasn't about to make the same mistake twice with the PS4, and the launch cost was US$399.99 / €399.99 / £349.99. By 2015 the price of the PS4 in North America had dropped to $349, and the PS4 Slim would launch at $299.99 the following year.

Region Date of price change Price
United States Nov 2013 $399 for 500GB (launch price)
United States Oct 2015 $349 for standard bundles (-$50)
United States Sept 2016 Introduced PS4 Slim
$299 for 500GB (launch price)

As you can see, a price rise is unprecedented in the history of the PlayStation; the trend is for prices to go in the opposite direction.