Ever since its launch, the PlayStation 5 console was almost impossible to obtain without having to wait in long lines at the retailers, fight other customers who got hold of the final piece or must deal with scalpers — mostly thanks to the supply chain issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, the latest news from Sony state that the company is hoping to increase its production of PS5 consoles ahead of the holidays, meaning that the console might be available to purchase very soon.
According to Kotaku, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced it would increase the production of PS5 consoles in preparation for the upcoming holiday season while also planning to hit the projected 18 million units sold for the 2022 fiscal year. The company’s earnings report credited “significant improvements” in the supply chain of semiconductive elements, which would allow Sony, and other manufacturers, such as Valve and its Steam Deck handheld, to pump out more hardware.
Sony’s PS5 consoles sales are generally down; game sales were slow, caused by pandemic-induced delays, while PS5 consoles have been limited in production, mainly due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. For comparison, PlayStation 4 sold thirty million units in the same time it took Sony to deliver twenty million units to the market. And PlayStation 5 generally had better marketing and was more in demand. However, the console’s absence from the market boosted PlayStation 4 sales significantly, and the console has sold over 117.2 million units since it launched.
The entire world was struck by the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused massive supply chain disruptions and massive shortages of various goods, ranging from essentials to semiconductive elements. To illustrate how disruptive the pandemic was, it’s important to mention that Silicon needed to make semiconductive elements is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (some 28%), and it’s derived from sand. That’s right; the pandemic disrupted the supply and processing of sand needed to make chips for PS5 and other consoles and hardware.
This is good news, considering that Sony had issues restocking the console, and restocks were few and far between, with the console selling out immediately upon notification. Despite the short supply, the PS5 is Sony’s best-selling console of all time, having sold 10 million units in approx. 250 days — the record previously held by PS4, which sold the same number of consoles in little over 270 days.
It’s highly likely that Sony will flood the market with new PS5 consoles, filling out both digital and physical shelves for the upcoming holiday season. And therein lies another problem. The holiday season usually implies days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and other discount-incentivized shopping days spanned over two- or three-month periods. Those looking to get their hands on their new PS5 better bring their boxing gloves and mouth guards to shopping because the console is likely to sell out as fast as before. Sony’s and Valve’s increased production outputs are among the first signals that the semiconductor shortages, announced to last through a better part of 2023, are coming to an end — as coincidentally indicated by GPU price drops.