The question for me is more can they afford not to?
PS5 needs to be substantially stronger than the PS4 Pro to give a real incentive to upgrade as due to diminishing returns it needs bigger differences in hardware power for noticeable visual differences. Thus the GPU part needs at least 10-12 TFlops of raw calculating power to stand out visually over the Pro, and that doesn't come cheap. Graphic cards in that power range cost more than an entire console right now, and even by 2020 it doesn't look like their price will be under 200$ by then. Add to this the need for more RAM and a stronger CPU plus the price of all the rest of the hardware and I hardly see how a price of 399$ can be achieved without resorting to an unhealthy heavy amount of subventionning
Holiday 2020 is more than 2.5 years away..a lot can happen until then. I remember the 360 giving highend PCs a run for their money at release. And I also remember no one expecting the PS4 to have 8GB Of GDDR5 RAM back then. All I’m saying is Sony are market leader, by far, and in a great position to make some special deals.
@bolded: True, especially in the CPU department. It's main problems where a too small RAM (even at the standards of the time, where 512MB to 1GB where becoming standard for high-end PCs and high-end GPUs having 512MB for themselves. So in short, RAM should have been twice as big to keep up with the rest of the stats) and the GPU part only being DX9 and even then just good, not extraordinary (DX10 could have been more effective due to unified shaders and allowed somewhat better graphics - but mostly, having both PS360 on DX9 dragged PC gaming down, as all the multiplats had been on DX9 out of necessity long after that was dead on PC). Still, 2 years after release, PS360 looked pretty weak from high-end PC player perspective, especially the GPU part as that had tripled in performance in the meanwhile, and the lack of RAM has started to become very apparent.
@italic: Also true, in a way: I remember many being disappointed the PS4 and XBO not having more than just 8GB as again, High-end PCs already had more at their release. Even medium range PCs at the time where more and more getting 8GB of RAM, and the AMD Radeon R9 290X, which came out in October2013, so one month before the current gen consoles, had a 8GB version (though that one only came out a couple of months after the console's releases, but still).
Sony's position isn't actually that great in most cases:
-CPU/GPU? Only AMD can make a competitive all-in-one package, and with Ryzen and Epyc being pretty successful, they don't need the money nearly as badly as they did with the current gen consoles
-RAM? Sony is actually small fry here, as the graphics card manufacturers and leading smartphone producers are buying so much more of it than Sony ever can for the Playstation, and that would still be true if we include their smartphone business as it's relatively small compared to giants like Samsung or Apple who buy about as much RAM as the PS4 needs in a year on a daily basis.
-Hard drives? There they have a pretty good position, but that's because by the time they reach a capacity the PC market already is moving on past that capacity. If they would come with bigger capacity or even SSD then that advantage is mostly gone, too.
-As for the rest, Sony may have a good dealing position here but that doesn't matter too much anymore as what's left doesn't account for much of the price anymore.