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PS5 may be difficult to buy at launch, due to limited supply

(Image credit: Sony)

From the DualSense controller to the PS5 specs, the PlayStation 5 is coming slowly into focus. What remains to be noted is the PS5 release date and its price, but a new report suggests Sony will be taking a slightly different approach to both the cost and supply than it did with the PlayStation 4 launch.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Sony will not be making as many PlayStation 5 consoles for launch as it did for the PS4's launch back in 2013, despite no delay to production or on sale date being expected.

Bloomberg's sources are anticipating shipments to max out at six million consoles through to March of 2021, whereas the PS4 sold 7.5 million over the same post-launch time period – despite itself suffering a delay.

Covid-19 not the cause

It'd be easy to assume that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic would be the root of the smaller shipment numbers, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Instead, it seems that Sony is simply anticipating less demand. This is likely due to what is expected to be a higher asking price for the PS5 than the PS4 launched with. The PS5 is expected to really push the boat out in terms of high-end components, and as such will be met with a higher price tag. One analyst is putting the launch price at $450 (£360 in the unlikely event of a direct conversion) compared to the PS4's $399 price tag – and that's still with the suggestion that the PS5 will be sold as a loss-leader. 

Producing more stock at the point where only early adopters tend to buy in would be a gamble for Sony, so those keen to get a 'day one' launch console should anticipate getting their pre-orders in early.

As for what the final design of the PS5 itself will look like, that may come sooner rather than later. The system is set to go into mass production in June, which will make it far harder to contain leaks. Sony will have to show its hand very soon, it seems.

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Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.