Sony has said it's aiming to increase the production of PS5 consoles in order to increase supply ahead of the end of 2022 and the holiday season.
Sony made the announcement in its latest earnings results, in which it also explains that software sales and gameplay engagement have dropped year-on-year, stating that engagement in particular is “a much lower level of engagement than we anticipated in our previous forecast.”
As a result of this, Sony says it intends "to take action to increase user engagement in the second half of the fiscal year, during which major titles including first party software are scheduled to be released". Its primary way of doing this will be by "increasing the supply of PlayStation 5 [PS5] hardware and promoting the new PlayStation Plus service."
Sony says it's not changing its initial forecast that it will sell 18 million units for this financial year. This optimism stems from "a recovery from the impact of the lockdown in Shanghai and a significant improvement in the supply of components". Sony is hopeful that it can increase production and increase supply ahead of the holiday period, saying, "we are working to bring-forward more supply into the year-end holiday selling season."
This isn't the first time Sony has talked about ramping up production this year. As recently as June, Veronica Rogers, Head of Global Sales and Business Operations at SIE, told GamesIndustry.biz, “we are planning on a significant ramp-up in PS5 production this year and we are working endlessly to make sure that PlayStation 5 is available for everyone who wants one."
It’s been since the console's launch in November 2020 that Sony and anyone looking to pick up a PS5 has been battling against stock shortages. Despite these shortages, the console is still selling, now having reached 21.7 million units sold globally. It’s worth noting, though, that the supply woes are causing havoc for Sony, with reports that the Xbox Series family of consoles has recently started outselling the PS5 in Japan which is a pretty big deal.
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It’s safe to say that the PS5 has been hard to come by thanks to a mix of high demand, component shortages, the pandemic and scalpers. This news is, at least, promising for those who are still desperately searching for PS5 stock. It feels reasonable to expect, however, that it'll be a steady build of availability rather than a sudden deluge of consoles.
Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger said as recently as May 2022, for instance, that the global chip and semiconductor crisis which has impacted consoles could actually continue well into 2024. Gelsinger said that the chip shortage has started to impact the manufacturing machines that are responsible for creating chips in the first place.
"That’s part of the reason that we believe the overall semiconductor shortage will now drift into 2024, from our earlier estimates in 2023, just because the shortages have now hit equipment and some of those factory ramps will be more challenged," Gelsinger said.
But things are definitely looking up. Alongside this news from Sony, Valve announced just this week that thanks to an easing of supply chain issues, it can ramp up production of the Steam Deck and fulfil all reservations by the end of 2022.
Overall, things are looking brighter and hopefully, with Sony’s components constraints seemingly easing in Shanghai, we’re going to start seeing more PS5 stock become available for those looking to make the most of upcoming platform exclusives like God of War: Ragnarok and new features like the recently-added 1440p support.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.