Demon's Souls for PlayStation 5 costs $70 (or 70 pounds if you're across the pond), and it's not alone in the pricing bump that accompanies these new consoles. While many have called the move to $70 long overdue, a recent report suggesting that Sony considered going even higher raised some eyebrows. Now, in a new interview with The Telegraph, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan defends the $10 price bump, pushes back against that reporting, and leaves us hanging on a big question about the next God of War.
Ryan, when specifically asked by The Telegraph whether or not he considers the retail price for Bluepoint's Demon's Souls remake to be fair, responds as follows:
Yes, yes, I do. 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.
Just last week, a few days before the launch of Sony's new console, Bloomberg reported that the company had discussed the possibility of pricing PS5 games even higher than $70. A Sony spokeswoman quoted in the piece says that the $70 ceiling settled on with Demon's Souls is "reflective of the growing development resources needed for these ambitious games."
"I can say that that report that we were considering higher prices for first party games is categorically false," Ryan tells The Telegram. It should be noted that Bloomberg's report did not specify exactly when talks of going above $70 reportedly happened, and only notes that Sony had been "deliberating over a price increase for some time[.]"
Another factor complicating the jump to $70 games for Sony is the existence of cross-gen titles. While Demon's Souls is a PS5 exclusive, Spider-Man: Miles Morales (priced at a standalone $50) and the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West are also coming to PS4. Especially for Horizon, which appears to be a full-length sequel, the question of whether or not it'll be priced differently across generations is a big one.
The same goes for the next God of War title, and Ryan tells The Telegraph he's "got nothing to say" regarding price or exclusivity for that. First teased in September, the new God of War is targeting a 2021 launch, and it's not clear whether it'll be closer to Horizon: Forbidden West or Miles Morales in scope.
With Ryan having spoken to the importance of keeping PS4 owners happy for a while to come earlier this year, we can expect game pricing standards to remain an issue as titles slowly make their way to the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Setting aside the complicating factors of Game Pass and Smart Delivery for Xbox, it certainly feels like the aim of keeping previous-gen console owners happy with high quality $60 titles could be at odds with charging more for the enhanced versions on newer hardware, if only from the other way around. Early adopters bear the brunt of initial instability, unreliability, and sparse release calendars for every new console generation, and now they are being asked to pay a bit more for software as well. It's just still too early to say whether cross-gen games like NBA 2K21 and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War have justified the price bump in the eyes of consumers.