Buying a PS5 is a near-miracle in 2021 despite the console launching in November 2020. While we’ve seen similar issues with stock in the console launches of years passed, nothing has compared to the manufacturing delays of this console generation.
The coronavirus pandemic is mostly to blame, but tensions between China and the U.S. have also dramatically increased pipeline issues in the manufacturing of the PS5 and other goods requiring semiconductor chips. Now Jim Ryan, SIE CEO, says Sony is aware of the issue and is actively working to increase console production.
In a new interview with Nikkei, translated by VGC, Ryan states the company has asked manufacturers to focus on increasing production for the PS5 with a specific focus on boosting semiconductor supply. The lack of chips is also the reason Ryan gives for why the PS5 has been so difficult to purchase.
“There are several reasons why PS5 was hard to come by,” Ryan told Nikkei. “Supply under the new coronavirus was very complicated, and we had to limit distribution to online. The supply and demand for semiconductors is also tight worldwide. We are asking our suppliers to allow us to increase production, which will flow into the market this year.” [Quotes via VGC]
A huge part of this challenge can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic as global shipping forces bottlenecks in manufacturing and warehouses are forced to maintain new health and safety restrictions that limit production capabilities.
While it’s unclear what exactly Sony can do about these problems given the global pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon, it is an issue they’re focusing on. They’re also not alone. The U.S. has already pledged to review the challenges of manufacturing in the coronavirus era, and Apple is in a similar boat.
But given the current global demand for electronics and the continuing challenges of working in the coronavirus pandemic, the situation is unlikely to change any time soon.
If you’re currently in the market for a PS5, the best thing you can do right now is stay tuned to stock alerts in Australia (via both Kotaku Australia and our pals at Press Start) and keep an ear out for any news. A solution to the semiconductor shortage is being worked on, but it’s likely we won’t see it for a long time yet.