PS5 restocks will remain rare for a while: Here's why

Sony Group Corp is raising its full-year forecast by some 15%, thanks largely to the success of "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Hidden in the company's good news, however, is bad news for gamers, as Sony is cutting its PS5 sales forecast by millions, thanks to the semiconductor shortage. The PS5 is one of the hottest consoles on the market, and has been a big hit for Sony. According to Reuters, the company had previously anticipated full-year sales of 14.8 million units. The company has revised that to 11.5 million, a drop of 3.3 million.

The PS5 has been one of Sony's best consoles, with TechRadar calling it "the next-generation console to buy," and GamesRadar+ saying "the PS5 is already doing everything right...PlayStation has unlocked the next-generation of gaming. "

Needless to say, reviews like that have been a big factor in the console's demand, and Sony would certainly love to sell more. Unfortunately, the company's inability to meet its sales forecasts has everything to do with supply.

The Semiconductor Shortage

The issue Sony is dealing with is a shortage of semiconductors and components. The problem began in the early days of the pandemic, as factories in China began closing, due to quarantines and lockdowns. As the pandemic swept the globe, various production facilities were impacted, as was the global shipping industry. These factors directly contributed to tech companies' inability to secure the semiconductors and components they need to build their products.

At the same time, with people spending more time at home than ever before, demand for in-home entertainment rose to all new heights. Laptops, tablets, and consoles became some of the hottest items on the market, putting a strain on companies' already limited demand.

Despite companies' best efforts to increase demand and look for alternative sources of components, there's no easy fix in sight. Sony's own CFO warned in April 2021 that there was no way to magically fix the issue, according to VGC. "As I said earlier, we're aiming for more sales volume than the PS4 [during year 2]," said Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki. "But can we drastically increase the supply? No, that's not likely."

While the cause may be understandable, unfortunately 11.5 million units is still a huge drop from 14.8 million, and will disappoint gamers hoping to get their hands on a PS5.