Sony has reportedly reduced its estimates of the number of PlayStation 5 consoles it will be able to manufacture before the end of the year. According to Bloomberg, the reason for this is that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is still causing PS5 component shortages to continue.
Sony was hoping to have manufactured 16 million PS5 consoles during the current fiscal year. However, issues with production, mainly component shortages and logistics constraints, have meant this figure has now been revised to 15 million and makes it highly unlikely the company will reach its target of selling more than 14.8 million consoles by the end of March 2022. The information is not meant to be public right now but was apparently revealed to the company’s investors in a conference call from Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki at the end of October.
The reason for the current sales target is so they could beat the number of units sold in a console’s second year; the record is currently held by the PlayStation 4 with 14.8 million units. Unfortunately things haven’t been going so well recently. During the same conference call, Totoki had said that while the PS5 was the fastest of Sony’s consoles to reach 10 million sales during July, sales have since fallen behind the pace set by the PS4 console.
Totoki had already warned that if the Covid-19 pandemic had a resurgence, a component shortage was likely. This is mainly due to the global nature of console manufacture. Many of the consoles parts are manufactured in developing nations where vaccine rollouts are inconsistent, meaning labor shortages have led to lower production levels. Despite continued communication between manufacturers and those that assemble the consoles, parts aren’t always arriving on time either.
Other companies like Toshiba had already predicted chip sortages could affect console manufacturing until 2023, making it unlikely Sony will then go on to break their own annual console sales record between April 2022 and March 2023. Sony was hoping to sell more than 22.6 million units during this period, breaking the record held by the first PlayStation console, but if shortages continue then this ambition seems like quite a challenge.