PS5 snub shows just how little Sony cares about India

Ps5 All Digital Edition
Ps5 All Digital Edition (Image credit: PlayStation)

Sony kicked off pre-orders of the PS5 last week, with the console set to hit retail availability starting November 12. There are two editions: the regular PlayStation 5 costs $499, and the PS5 Digital Edition is up for pre-order for $399.

Sony is barely able to sustain demand for pre-orders in most markets, with both the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition sold out everywhere. But there's a bigger problem in India, where Sony hasn't even bothered to share PS5 pricing or availability details. Aside from a listing on Amazon India that says the PS5 will be available "late 2020" and lets interested customers register interest in the console, there has been little in the way of information regarding Sony's next-gen console.

It's clear that the PS5 will be delayed in India, but for Sony to not reveal any details is inexcusable.

This isn't the first time Sony ignored the Indian market. The PlayStation 4 didn't launch in India until January 6, 2014 — nearly two months after it went on sale in the U.S. — and even then, availability for the first six months was so limited that it wasn't easy to get a hold of the console. Lack of availability has been a constant theme throughout the PS4 lifecycle, with limited edition variants selling out in minutes and DualShock controllers not available anywhere in the country.

At this point, it's clear that Sony would not be able to meet initial demand for the PS5. The pandemic has affected its production lines, and with demand for the console turning out to be greater than anticipated, it makes sense that Sony would want to wait a few months to release the PS5 in global markets. But for the brand to not share any information about pricing or availability for the Indian market is inexcusable.

The market size for consoles in India is miniscule compared to other regions, but PlayStation outsells Xbox by a factor of nine. That's why it's particularly frustrating to see Sony stay silent regarding PS5 availability in the country. Microsoft, for its part, revealed Xbox Series X and Series S pricing for India at the same time as other markets, and both consoles went up for pre-order in the country. The ₹49,990 ($680) Xbox Series X sold out on Amazon India in just 15 minutes, while the ₹34,990 ($475) Xbox Series S is still up for pre-order.

Meanwhile, potential PS5 customers in India don't know how much the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition will cost, nor when either console will be available in the country. Sony doesn't sell phones in India anymore, and aside from its TV and camera businesses, PlayStation is the biggest revenue driver for the brand. By leaving its customers in the dark about PS5 availability, Sony is essentially showing that it just does not care about the Indian market. As a result, it has ceded first-mover advantage to Microsoft.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.