Sony Group Corp. warned a group of analysts the PlayStation 5 will remain in short supply through 2022, suggesting the company will be constrained in its ability to boost sales targets for its latest games console. While reporting financial results in late April, the Japanese conglomerate said it had sold 7.8 million units of the console through March 31, and it is aiming to sell at least 14.8 million units in the current fiscal year. That would keep it on pace to match the trajectory of the popular PlayStation 4, which has sold in excess of 115.9 million units to date. In a briefing after those results, Sony told analysts it is challenging to keep up with strong demand. The PS5 has been difficult to find in stock since its release in November, in part because of shortages in components such as semiconductors, and the company hasn't given an official estimate for when it expects supply to normalize.
A shortage of components has pushed manufacturing costs for Sony Corp.'s next PlayStation to around $450 per unit, forcing a difficult price-setting decision in its battle with Microsoft Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter. The tech giant is preparing to gradually replace the 6-year-old PS4 console, releasing its PlayStation 5 the same holiday season its archrival launches the Xbox Series X. Sony typically finalizes a console's price in February of the release year, followed by mass production in the spring. With the PS5, the company is taking a wait-and-see approach, said the people, asking not to be named because the details are private. The PS4, released in 2013 with a retail price of $399, was estimated by IHS Markit to cost $381 to make.
New gaming consoles launched by Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. fell short of their predecessors in terms of sales during their first week in Japan, suggesting persistent supply bottlenecks will hamper the debut of two of this holiday season's most hotly anticipated gadgets. Sony sold 118,085 PlayStation 5 (PS5) consoles from its debut on Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, roughly a third of the volume seen over launch weekend for the PlayStation4 (PS4), Famitsu estimated. Microsoft tallied 20,534 units of its Xbox Series X and S during the six days from its start on Nov. 10, also shy of the 23,562 that the Xbox One managed during its first few days, the research house said. Sony fell as much as 1.6% in Tokyo trading on Thursday and Microsoft was down by about the same amount in New York Wednesday. Both fell in line with broader markets.
Sony Corp. plans to produce far fewer units of its upcoming PlayStation 5 in its first year than it had for the previous-generation console's launch, according to people familiar with the matter. The Tokyo-based tech giant is limiting its initial production run in part because it expects the PS5's ambitious specs to weigh on demand, by making it necessary to set a high price at launch, the people said, asking not to be identified because the subject is private. The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected Sony's promotional plans for the new device but not its production capacity, they added. The company has told assembly partners it will make 5 to 6 million units of the PS5 in the fiscal year ending March 2021, according to other people involved in the machine's supply chain. When Sony released the PlayStation 4 in November 2013, it sold 7.5 million units in its first two quarters.
It began, arguably, with some cat food. Perhaps it began weeks before, when PlayStation opened the pre-orders for the new PS5 without any warning, forcing the company to apologise. "Let's be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother," it admitted last September, in an attempt to apologise to upset fans that has not stopped being relevant. Or perhaps it began some time after the release date on November 19, on one of the many days when PS5 stock arrived and then sold out again almost instantly. But at the very least the cat food – or the grills, or sticky tape, or various other objects that were shipped to customers on the PS5's release date, instead of the console that had presumably been stolen at some point during the delivery – seemed like the perfect illustration of the problems that have hit PlayStation fans in the months since.