Hardware shortages across the world have affected industries of all kinds. PC gamers were particularly hard hit by the parts shortage, which also affected console manufacturing. Sony’s latest console, the PlayStation 5, has been notoriously difficult to obtain, and that doesn’t seem to normalize until around 2024.
In Sony’s recent release financial presentation (opens in new tab)(identified by eurogamer (opens in new tab)), the company acknowledged supply issues when it comes to PS5 sales. The presentation included a slide showing the comparative sales of the PS4 and PS5 consoles. While the PS5 outsold the older PS4 in its first year, it lagged the following year due to supply constraints. Sony has also increased its PS4 production due to shortages (opens in new tab)which probably helped.
The chart goes on to show Sony’s projections for year three, in which it hopes to close the gap between PS4 and PS5 sales. This means that Sony doesn’t expect the PlayStation 5 to retake the top spot in the company’s console sales until 2024. This also happens when Intel CEO Is Thinking Chip Shortages Might Finally Ease (opens in new tab).
Both Covid and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were cited as ongoing obstacles to increasing supply, so Sony’s current strategy involves sourcing from a number of different suppliers. Given that the issues that are hampering Sony’s sales appear to be supply-related rather than demand-related, it makes sense that the company is doing everything it can to close that gap.
And Sony has plenty of incentives to make sure the PS5 works well. In addition to console sales, the financial report shows that there is a clear increase in game sales when there are consoles available for purchase. There is also the new PlayStation VR 2 (opens in new tab) this should be a huge improvement over previous VR efforts and will need the PS5 to run it.
But this is also a testament to the PS4’s strong lifespan, especially compared to the previous PS3. These reports show that PS4 digital sales, including those from Free to Play games, are generating a good chunk of profit for Sony, with games like Fortnite and Genshin Impact noted for their financial contributions. With the PS5 still potentially 2 years away from hitting PS4 sales, those numbers might not change for a while yet.