The PS5 Shortage Will Likely Stretch Into 2022

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

If you were hoping it’d get easier to snag a PlayStation 5, Sony’s got some bad news for you. In a call with analysts, Sony warned that they likely won’t be able to meet PS5 demand and restock stores through 2022.

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According to Bloomberg, Sony reported it had sold 7.8 million PS5s through March 31 and is targeting 14.8 million units for this fiscal year. However, in the six months since the console launched, Sony admitted it was struggling to keep up with demand. That tracks, as the NPD Group recently dubbed the console as the fastest-selling in U.S. history. While the PS5 is selling well, it looks like the disparity between supply and demand will continue into next year, with no official timeline for when Sony expects the shortage to end.

This flies in the face of recent comments made by Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. A few months ago, Ryan intimated that PS5 stock would pick up in the second half of 2021, possibly ending the frustrating shortage by the holiday season.

Scalpers and bots certainly haven’t helped, but Sony says the main culprit is that pesky global chip shortage, which has impacted gadget makers both big and small. Bloomberg quotes Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki as saying that even if Sony were to secure more devices and ramp up production next year, Sony’s “supply wouldn’t be able to catch up with demand.” Totoki also asserted that demand for the console would remain high, even as the surge in at-home gaming due to the pandemic seems to be leveling off. Sony said Playstation Network’s monthly active users dropped to 109 million this past quarter, down from 114 million the previous quarter. Sales of full games also declined compared to last year.

As far as gaming consoles go, the PlayStation 5 isn’t the only one facing supply issues. Microsoft has also been scrambling to meet demand for its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, to the point where it recently asked GPU and CPU maker AMD for help. Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch was famously hard to find at the beginning of the pandemic, which prompted Nintendo to pledge it would significantly ramp up production. However, the immensely popular Switch also isn’t immune to supply chain woes. Last week, Nintendo told investors that Switch sales would likely lose steam due to the global chip shortage, as well as increased competition from the PS5 and both new Xboxes.

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