In what will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, chip shortages impacted the PlayStation 5 late last year. Don’t expect that to change just yet.
During Sony’s most recent quarterly financial earnings, the company’s gaming division did see a rise in profit. However, as Reuters notes, Sony lowered its full-year PS5 sales from 14.8 million units to 11.5 million for the financial year ending on March 31.
According to Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki (via Venture Beat), the demand is still quite high, steady, and not impacted by the pandemic. “We can’t say exactly for sure what is the demand for next year,” Totoki added. Chip production, however, has been effected by the pandemic, and the company’s partners are still unable to fulfil orders. And so, component shortages continue.
Sony is building up is PS5 inventory, but Totoki expects the component shortages to continue for the time being. It could be especially hard to find a PS5 during the first half of the year. This is hardly a surprise. As Kotaku reported last fall, the global chip shortage was expected to continue in 2022. It might go on longer than that. Intel previously stated semiconductor shortages could continue until 2023.
Nor is Sony obviously the only company impacted by all this. In November of last year, Nintendo slashed Switch production and predicted a 20 per cent decrease in availability. Around that same time, Xbox head Phil Spencer said he expected shortages in 2022, but gave a much more nuanced reason why.
“I think it’s probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem,” Spencer said at the time. “When I think about, what does it mean to get the parts necessary to build a console today, and then get it to the markets where the demand is, there are multiple kinds of pinch points in that process.”
Making game consoles is complicated, especially during a pandemic. Trying to get one sucks, too.