Sony warns: few PS5s until 2022

Few electrical components and much demand, Sony warns users: next-gen PS5 consoles will be in short supply at least until 2022

The PlayStation 5 will continue to be in short supply, at least until 2022. As stated by the Japanese giant itself, the shortage of units for sale is weighing brutally on the plans for 2021. The situation doesn't seem to be subsiding despite the several months of difficulties that began with the arrival of the new model on the market last year.

According to the financial results updated last April, Sony has reported the sale of 7.8 million consoles from launch until March 31, 2021. The goal, according to the estimates of the Japanese company, is to reach 14.8 million units, in order to follow the trend started with the previous version, namely PlayStation 4. The old console has sold, to date, 115.9 million units, a goal that the technology giant aims to repeat and exceed. Despite the strength with which the demand continues to rage on the market, continues to lack the "raw material" of the sale, or PS5, risking to break part of the dreams of the company.

PS5, what is doing Sony

To weigh on the current situation, in line with what Sony confirmed to analysts in a meeting, would still be the scarcity of components - one of all the semiconductors necessary for their realization - to be physically integrated into the consoles. To date, the issue does not seem to have found a resolution: in fact, the same company would not be able to provide any answer on the estimated time for the return to normal, a factor that unites it with other big technology still involved, albeit to a different extent, in the issue.

"I don't think demand is calming down this year, and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce a lot more units of the PlayStation 5 next year, our supply won't be able to meet demand," said Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki during a meeting with analysts.

From an economic standpoint, the lack of consoles would already have caused Sony to lose profits, at least according to estimates made earlier by industry experts. The forecast, in any case, is not entirely negative. The high demand for the platform, as well as for the dedicated games, could make the company's numbers go up despite the 8% drop in earnings since the April 28 report, a figure in stark contrast to last year's 75% growth.

PS5, could the Covid effect run out soon?

For Totoki, the key is in the increase in production, which is essential to host on the shelves of (virtual) stores the PS5. Similar to the first phase of the pandemic, the current emergency conditions and lockdowns imposed by governments to contain the health emergency continue to play a leading role on demand, a fact that must be kept in close consideration.

The Covid effect, however, might not last that long: from the last quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, active users on the PlayStation network would have dropped from 109 million to 114 million. This would be a signal that could reveal the need to shorten the timeframe as much as possible, so that we can continue to take advantage of the long wave of the pandemic situation before it breaks completely.

Sony and Nintendo, is the pandemic weighing on gaming?

Sony is not alone, however. Even Nintendo has pointed out how the component issue is actually weighing on production. With "only" 25.5 million consoles sold at the end of March 2022, the company would have remained below the values recorded during the previous year.

In spite of this, according to what Bloomberg News said, the company would have decided to increase the production of consoles, going from the 28 million scheduled to 29 million. An attempt, this, that will allow - at least on paper - to grab an additional slice of the public in the near future.