The supply issues for the PlayStation 5 console have been well documented. As reported by VGC, in the earnings call to go with Sony’s recently revealed financial results for the last year, Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said the supply of PS5 consoles is “not likely” to “drastically increase” this year either due to a number of issues.
By March 31, Sony had shipped 7.8 million PS5 consoles around the world. This is now the most successful launch year ever for any console with the previous record being the PS4 with 7.6 million units. Supply of the consoles is gradually increasing – 3.3 million of those units were sold during the last three months alone – but the supply still isn’t meeting demand. Totoki doesn’t expect those issues to be completely resolved this year either. While the company is aiming to beat the PS4’s year 2 sales record (the PS4 sold 14.8 million units in its second year), when asked if they can “drastically increase the supply” of PS5 consoles he stated “that’s not likely.”
One of the main reasons for the supply issue is the global semiconductor shortage that affects the console’s production, but there are other issues too, likely the shortage of other components. AMD, the company that manufactures the console’s CPUs and GPUs, expect to increase their supply during the second half of 2021. To get around the semiconductor issue specifically, Totoki said they “could find maybe a secondary resource” or even cope by “changing the design” of the console. He didn’t further clarify this point, and this comment is purely speculative. Sony is not publicly making any major changes to the PS5 console design.
Supply shortages have caused chaos around the world. Retailers in Tokyo even had to call police after a restock of 300 consoles descended into chaos. Many have resorted to buying consoles through third party sources, leading to scalping becoming a huge problem too. Some countries, such as the UK, are now seeking to make scalping and the use of automated bots an illegal practice.[Source: Sony via VGC]