If you're wondering how much the PlayStation 4 cost to make, IHS has a pretty neat report that tears down a PS4 and talks about the bill of materials (BOM) cost Sony is paying per console. The total ends up at $372 with a manufacturing cost of $9, pushing it up to $381 per console. This is just $18 short of the console's actual market price. When taken into account all of the overhead Sony has to bear, such as shipment, the company ends up selling each PS4 at a loss.
However, owing to such a low BOM, Sony will probably end up breaking even on the console in a much shorter time when compared to when Sony was selling the PS3. The PS3 was famously being sold for a loss of more than $200 on each unit.
Quite an impressive bill, Sony
“Although Sony brought the PlayStation 3's costs down significantly during its lifetime, the company's intent was never to make money on the hardware, but rather to profit through sales of games and content,” said Andrew Rassweiler, Senior Director of cost benchmarking services for IHS.
Despite the lower cost of production on the PS4, Sony has offered a considerable upgrade this time around, with the most expensive parts being the AMD APU and the associated graphic DRAM tallying up to a price tag of $188. The AMD APU is an 8-core Jaguar CPU coupled with a Radeon GPU. It is made using a 28-nm process. With the AMD APU costing $100, $88 goes to the GDDR5 DRAM.
The DRAM employed in the PlayStation 4 has much higher bandwidth than the DDR3 memory featured in the Xbox One “It also works better with parallel computing and is designed specifically to enhance graphics performance,” said Mike Howard, Senior Principal Analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS. “Because of its cutting-edge status, GDRAM GDDR5 is more expensive than DDR3, which is used in high volume in products including PCs and older game consoles.”