Research firm IHS took one of Sony's new PlayStation 4 consoles apart to estimate the device's production cost. The preliminary report claims the PS4 has a total bill of materials (BOM) of $372 and a manufacturing cost of $9, resulting in a total manufacturing cost of $381. Given the PS4's retail pricing of $399 this means Sony is still selling the console at a loss if you account for other costs such as R&D, shipping, marketing, etc., but the loss is far smaller than the firm took on previous consoles.
IHS estimates the optical drive in the PS4 costs $28, compared to $66 for the latest revision of the PlayStation 3, itself a cost-reduced model called the CECH-2001A. Sony trimmed another $10 by integrating a number of discrete and passive components, IHS said.
The PS4 also shaved five dollars in mechanical parts compared to the PS3. The hard drive in the PS4 is a 500 GByte model compared to just 120 GB for the PlayStation 3, but was still one dollar cheaper, thanks to efficiencies in hard drive manufacturing.
According to IHS, the single most expensive component in the PS4 is the APU, it has an estimated cost of $100. Next is the DRAM at $88, the HDD at $37, and the optical drive at $28.