New consoles are always in high demand, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are seeing supply shortages the likes of which we haven’t seen all that often. The COVID-19 pandemic has been largely responsible for that, with the disruption of manufacturing and supply lines, as well as a global shortage of components, resulting in supply of hardware being unable to satisfy the high demand almost everywhere.
But how long is that expected to continue? Many have said that these shortages are not going to stop any time soon, from AMD to, more recently, Microsoft with Xbox Series X/S, and Sony aligns with that line of thinking. In Sony’s recent quarterly earnings call (via VGC), CFO Hiroki Totoki said that even though the company expects the PS5 to sell more during the current fiscal year than the PS4 did in the same window in its life (which is something Sony has discussed before as well), it’s still unlikely that PS5 supply will increase dramatically during this time.
“As I said earlier, we’re aiming for more sales volume than the PS4 [during year 2],” he said. “But can we drastically increase the supply? No, that’s not likely. The shortage of semiconductors is one factor, but there are other factors that will impact on the production volume. So, at present, we’d like to aim at [beating] second year sales of 14.8 million, which was the second year of PS4.”
Totoki later went on to add that Sony might try to work around these issues finding a secondary source for semiconductor chips, or by altering the PS5’s design. “For example, we could find maybe a secondary resource, or by changing the design we could cope,” he said. “In [the Electronics Products & Solutions business] we took a flexibility manoeuvre and in FY2021 we liked to flexibility adapt to the situation.”
Even with heavy supply shortages, however, the PS5 is still doing extremely well for itself right off the bat. The console has shipped 7.8 million units as of March 31, and is outpacing the sales of the PS4 at the same point in its life.