In brief: Sony has warned that its PlayStation consoles will experience price increases if the Trump administration carries out its threat to expand tariffs on Chinese goods.
Tariffs were raised from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese products back in May, but the US is threatening to expand this to an extra $300 billion of Chinese exports. As previously reported, the list of affected items includes "video game consoles and machines," meaning prices for current and next-gen machines could be inflated.
Now, Sony financial chief Hiroki Totoki has warned that if the expanded tariffs do go through, the company may be forced to pass the extra costs onto consumers, though nothing has been set in stone.
“We believe, and therefore have told the U.S. government, that higher tariffs would ultimately damage the U.S. economy,” said Totoki.
Studies claim that the extra tariffs would also see consumers paying more for other electronic goods, including phones, laptops, and toy drones. Laptops alone could rise by 19 percent, while cell phone imported from China might rise 22 percent.
Sony, along with Microsoft and Nintendo, already expressed concern over the tariffs last month, warning that consumers would be footing the bill for the extra $840 million in costs, and hundreds of thousands of US jobs could be at risk. Intel, Microsoft, HP, and Dell have also objected.
One option could be for Sony and Microsoft to follow Nintendo’s lead and start moving production of their consoles out of China, but neither company seems in a hurry to go down that road. With the PS5 not expected until fall next year, PS4 sales could start declining at an even quicker pace, and the tariffs might result in the PS5 becoming even more expensive.