On paper, the PS5 price makes it seem like a relatively affordable 4K gaming machine. But in reality, you’ll have to spend WAY more than this to unlock its potential…
On paper and in real-life, the PS5 is an utter monster. It packs in some of the impressive specs and hardware ever seen inside a gaming console. And the price of the PS5 – $499 or £449 in the UK – means it is considerably cheaper than a straight-up PC gaming rig.
Want to pay less for the PS5? You can ditch the Blu-Ray drive and pick up the PS5 Digital Edition for $399/£359; you get all the same spec and hardware as the standard PS5 model with Blu Ray.
And that is still cheaper than most PC gaming rigs. Or, is it? You see there are A LOT of hidden costs associated with the PS5, costs you might not be aware of…
The actual cost of the PS5 is more than just the console itself.
Like when you buy a new BMW or Audi, the list price is just the beginning of your spending – there are plenty of additional costs you’ll have to potentially encounter and take on.
In order to run the PS5 properly – or optimally – you’ll potentially need to spend quite a bit more money. How much more? It could be hundreds of dollars more, depending on your situation.
Here’s a full breakdown of everything you’ll need to buy in order to extract as much performance as possible from your PS5
The TRUE Cost of The PS5
For starters, in order to run the PS5 as it was designed, you’ll need a 4K TV – and if you don’t have one of those, a basic model will set you back at least $300/£300.
And that’s for the cheapest possible model (like the TCL one pictured below).
And if you want to get the maximum performance out of your PS5, you’ll not only need a 4K TV with a HDR and a high refresh rate, you’ll also want one that is fairly large too – and the bigger they get, the more they cost.
You can play on a 1080p TV, of course, but then what’s the point of paying all the extra money for a PS5?
You Might Need More Storage
Sony has kitted out the PS5 with an 825GB SSD; that’s plenty of storage, or, at least it sounds like it is. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll soon realise that, given how the system and its games work, it isn’t actually all that much.
For instance, before you’ve even done anything, you technically only have access to 667GB of room anyway. The reason? The PS5’s software takes up around 158GB of room on your storage.
Normally, that’d be fine. But here’s the thing: PS5 games, on average, are usually around 50GB or more. And that’s for smaller games. If you want to store and run a big library of games on your PS5, you’ll quickly run out of room. And that means you’ll need to expand the storage.
On top of this, there currently are no Sony certified PICe 4.0 SSDs available. This will change in due course. But they will not be cheap, if Microsoft’s proprietary 1TB PCIe 4.0 external SSD expansion card is anything to go by – its costs $219/£219.
When Sony does get around to launched its own 1TB PCIe 4.0 external SSD, it will probably cost the same, perhaps even more.
Either way, for an additional 1TB of storage you’re probably looking at at least $200 to $300 which is almost 80% the price of what you paid for the PS5 console itself.
Want To Access Sony’s Tempest 3D AudioTech? That’ll Be $99…
One of the coolest things about the PS5 is Sony’s new Tempest 3D AudioTech. This new audio technology is designed to make in-game sounds and music richer and more engaging. Sony talks at length about it here.
There are some TVs on market that natively support this standard. I say, some, but they’re about as rare as hen’s teeth right now, so if you want to actually experience Tempest 3D AudioTech, you’re going to have to pony up for a pair of Sony’s Pulse 3D Wireless headsets – these cost $99/£89.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one thing, the Pulse 3D Wireless headphones are priced really well. The headphones themselves are completely wireless, have great battery life, and will make your games sound truly amazing.
Are they essential? No, but if you’re buying a PS5, surely you want to be able to utilise Sony’s Tempest 3D AudioTech? I mean, this is one of the console’s main USPs. Incredible audio experiences make games infinitely more dynamic and enjoyable.
To be honest, I’d kind of wish Sony bundled these in with the console itself. That’d make the machine truly amazing from a value for money perspective.
PS5 Games Cost A FORTUNE…
In order to actually use your PS5, you will, of course, need some games to play, right? Well, here’s another kick in the nuts for you: the cost of games for the PS5 is more than they were for the PS4.
How much more? Quite a bit – Demon’s Souls, a PS5 exclusive, costs $69/£69. Conversely, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, another PS5 exclusive, costs $49/£49. The latter is cheaper but this will not be the norm.
As we move through 2021, paying higher prices for bigger, Triple A games will become the norm. And if you like to play a few games at once, this could end up setting you back almost $180 a pop.
Pretty crazy, right? Interested in how the price of console games has changed over the years? ArsTechnica has a great post that charts the fluctuations of computer game prices from the 1970s to 2021. Turns out games have always been stupidly expensive!
And You’ll Probably Want Another PS5 DualSense Controller, Right?
Like all modern consoles, you only get one PS5 DualSense controller in the box when you buy a PS5. That’s fine if you’re a grown man, living on your own. But if you’re Sony’s core demographic – teenagers – you probably live at home with your folks and have friends over for gaming sessions.
If you do, then you’ll need an extra DualSense controller. Even if you are a solo player, the new DualSense will only last for around four hours on a single charge, so if you’re planning on doing mega-gaming marathons, you’re going to need a spare controller.
Sony’s new PS5 DualSense controller is a brilliant piece of engineering too, its haptic feedback is phenomenal and you will notice the difference in how it handles and plays if you’re coming from the PS4 Pro. Mercifully, the new DualSense controller isn’t that expensive; you’ll pay $69/£59 for a new one.
But even so, this additional sum of money, chalked up with everything else, still bulks out the starting price of the PS5 quite a bit. You’re now looking around $600 (providing you don’t need to buy a 4K TV).
PlayStation Plus – Sadly, It Is Not Free…
Want to play games online? Need cloud saves? Want to access online elements of games like Demon’s Souls? You’ll need to subscribe to Sony’s Playstation Plus, and that will cost you an extra $59/£49 a year.
You can pay monthly for PlayStation Plus, but it is cheaper to just take out the cost on an annual basis – you’ll save money in the long run.
Is PlayStation Plus essential? I’d argue, no, it isn’t. But if you want to play online, as many users do, you will need it.
Or, you could just get a PC instead and get free access to cloud saves, online gaming, and cheaper components for when the time comes to upgrade your rig’s specs.
The Actual Price of A PS5 (Based on The Above Criteria)
OK, so given all about the above, what is the TRUE price of owning a PS5? I just did some quick maths based on all of the points listed about and you’re looking at around $1145, although that figure is based on you having to buy a 4K TV as well.
If you don’t need to buy a 4K TV, the price comes down to a more palatable but still pretty expensive $746 which, as you can now probably gather, is A LOT more than the advertised price of $399.
So, yeah… the PS5 price is NOT $499 – not if you want to run it as it was designed to run.