Earlier today, Sony delivered its financial results for the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year, and within those results was the very first batch of PlayStation 5 sales numbers. Sony reported that the PlayStation 5 had sold 4.5 million units in that third quarter (which ended on December 31st, 2020), and that’s no small victory for the company. Demand for the PlayStation 5 seems to be very high – so high, in fact, that the console is selling out immediately whenever it goes in stock somewhere.
This, as many people know first hand, has resulted in a few very frustrating months for a lot of consumers. These availability woes have left a lot of people wondering when the restock issues will end and when the PlayStation 5 will be easily accessible, but it may not be for some time yet. According to Ars Technica, Sony indicated today that it’s currently grappling with a semiconductor shortage, and that is obviously having a negative effect on production.
“It is difficult for us to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components,” said Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki in a briefing as quoted by Ars. “We have not been able to fully meet the high level of demand from customers [but] we continue to do everything in our power to ship as many units as possible to customers who are waiting for a PS5.”
In addition, Sony confirmed today that it is indeed taking a loss on each PS5 console sold, but that doesn’t come as much of a shock. It’s a fairly common sight to see new consoles sold as loss-leaders as console manufacturers attempt to lay their claim in the new generation and grab as much market share as they can. At some point in the future, Sony will begin to make a profit on each console sold, but for now, the company is likely fine taking a loss if it means pricing the PlayStation 5 competitively.
So, assuming Sony isn’t limited by production line capacity as well, then we’re probably not going to see the stock issue with PS5s resolve until that semiconductor shortage is sorted out. When that might be is anyone’s guess, but for now, expect PlayStation 5s to be hard to find for weeks or even months to come.