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Gaming consoles considered ‘luxury goods’ as PHL gamers pay 51% markup for Sony PS5 — iPrice


Gaming consoles are in high demand in the Philippines despite steep prices, according to a recent study by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group that analyzed console pricing across Southeast Asia. The Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) was found to have the highest markup, with Filipinos paying 51% more than recommended retail prices (RRP).

According to iPrice, the PS5 — the successor to the PS4 released in 2013 — created high levels of demand that even Sony itself described as unprecedented. 

Out of the five countries surveyed, the Philippines sits in the middle in terms of overall console affordability, ranking third on the list.

Taking income into account, a gaming console costs the average Filipino about 16% of their annual salary. Meanwhile, it is least affordable in Indonesia (where it covers 24% of their salary) and most affordable in Singapore (where it covers 1% of their salary). 

Over the last three years, major gaming brands have released next-generation consoles, including the Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Sony PS5. Online resellers took advantage of the situation, offering these on e-commerce platforms with an average 40% markup. 

The meta-search website found that interest in gaming consoles has remained strong, with search volume in the first half of 2022 being 64% higher than in the same period in 2019. 

Unfortunately for gamers, the prices of these consoles have also gone up to a similar degree, exceeding recommended retail prices (RRP) by as much as 64%. 

“This inflated pricing, which is likely to continue for the next two years given the global chip shortage, is putting gaming consoles firmly in the ‘luxury goods’ bracket across most of Southeast Asia,” iPrice said in its report.

“Until demand and supply normalize, allowing actual pricing to move closer to the RRP, these products are likely to continue to be a luxury purchase for most people in SEA,” it added. 

With search volume still high and global chip shortages expected to continue into 2024, iPrice said that SEA consumers are likely to continue to face high console prices. 

The study is based on data on 10,000 product offerings for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony gaming consoles from resellers on e-commerce catalogues across the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. This information was then supplemented with average salary data from the World Bank to assess affordability. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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