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Video Games, Inflation & Corona.

On this blog we are going to dive into why video games – and consoles themselves – are so expensive nowadays.

Did you know (if you’re a gamer you probably do) that PlayStation 5’s retail at $500 and routinely sell for $1,000? Well, it’s true. We will discuss some theories as to why below.

Reddit Comments: One comment from a Reddit user brought up a good point: Minimum wage, coming in at a whopping rate of $7.25 an hour, has not increased since 2009.

Video game systems are widely used, now more than ever, across all demographics on the planet. But they weren’t always this expensive.

The point from the anonymous video game user? Video games are a real outlet of relaxation and a hobby for so many of us. But it’s getting cost prohibitive for many.

People really are playing more than ever. And it makes sense. Studies show that since the pandemic, people are playing at a 45% higher clip than before. That’s major.

Evil Nitwits Sony: So let’s take the producer of the PS5, Sony, as an example here:

Sony planned an intended “restrained” slow launch of their PS5 on purpose. Their executives now claim that the reason their prices are so high is because there is so much demand for their product.

One can’t help but wonder if this slow rollout of the PS5 was done intentionally to maximize profits over a longer stretch of time.

And that’s not all: evidence is coming out that these consoles are far from perfect. There have been reports that Xbox users have been seeing smoke coming out from some of their consoles.

Not to be out done by Xbox, PS5 users have reported data transfer glitches that have resulted in deleting previously saved data. Not a good look.

Yet Sony stands by their high prices for both consoles and individual games. Read the quote below from Sony CEO Jim Ryan:

Ryan defended the next-gen game price hike, particularly as it affects UK buyers who face an even steeper markup at £70. "Yes, I do [consider it fair]," he said. "If you measure the hours of entertainment provided by a video game, such as Demon's Souls, compared to any other form of entertainment, I think that's a very straightforward comparison to draw."

Could we hypothesize here that Sony and PS5 implore many of the same tactics of Apple and the iPhone?

Think about it: These products are highly sought after worldwide. Their new features are predetermined years before they are released. Their costs are exorbitant. Isn’t it odd that after a few years of usage, these products (sometimes costing you over a thousand dollars) begin to have issues?

The next thing you know you are back right where you began: investing in their latest gadgets.

Sony will claim that the cost of materials have risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic. They will also blame inflation. They will hit upon the fact that trade restrictions with China resulted in the loss of business with a key Chinese chip factory.

To top it all off, there is most definitely a global shipping crisis going on currently.

Sure, some of these explanations hold water. But what are these companies doing to solve the problem and bring down pricing?

Why don’t flat screen HD TVs break the bank like the PS5 does? What about the idea of developing chip technology here in America itself?

The reality is that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Sure, COVID and the issues that have derived from it as well as rising inflation haven’t made things a walk in the park.

But PS5 sales are rising more than ever. What can Sony do to make their sought-after product more affordable in the long run?

The current minimum retail price for a PS5: $500.

Good luck finding it for $500, though.

Due to the console shortage, individuals have taken it upon themselves to manipulate the system, using advanced technology to buy up all retail consoles and resell them on the secondary market. Often for as much as $1,000.

Are these computer geeks defrauding the gaming community and contributing to the cost-prohibitive ways of the producers of the products themselves? Or are these people trying to make a profit solely to put food on the table?

I truly don’t know. Once again, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

One thing is for sure: something has got to give. Inflation doesn’t look like it is going to fly away any time soon.


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