Last year millions of gamers the world over were awaiting the launch of the PlayStation 5. After more than 7 years, Japanese company Sony was getting ready to launch a new member of the PlayStation family.
And surely the PS5 is a big step up from its predecessor the PS4. Featuring a more powerful processor and vastly improved graphics capabilities, plus a controller capable of haptic feedback, the machine surely was on many people’s wish list last Christmas.
Sadly, though, the PS5 has been incredibly difficult to get since its launch in November 2020. This in part has to do with the fact that Sony had underestimated demand for the console due to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out last year, as president of Sony Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told The Washington Post in an interview (via Forbes).
“Demand was greater than we anticipated”, Sony Interactive’s president said. “That, along with the complexities of the supply chain issues, resulted in a slightly lower supply than we initially anticipated”, added Ryan.
What’s clear, though, is that buying a PS5 (or attempting to do so) has been an exercise in frustration for so many people. This is because resellers have been using automated programs known as “bots” to snatch any stock from online retailers as it becomes available. Seeing stock pop up at the likes or Amazon or GameStop only for it to banish in seconds before anyone (except a bot) can click the order button is something that can drive anyone to tears.
Many people nonetheless were able to get hold of a PS5 last year. Actually, more than 4 million units were sold through the end of 2020, beating the PS4’s sales in the same period back in 2013.
Of course, this is something that might leave PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan happy, but the dark side is that many more millions would have been sold had Sony not underestimated demand, and pandemic supply issues had not gotten in the way (Sony has apparently been competing with auto makers for processors according to the Post’s article). Demand for consumer electronics has skyrocketed since the pandemic began, and it will take a while for availability to improve.
The other option, of course, is to buy a PS5 on websites such as eBay, where its selling at prices much higher than Sony’s MSRP. As Forbes points out, Sony’s console is doing the rounds for a shocking $800 US dollars, twice the price of the digital edition of the console, which ships without a Blu-ray drive. Doing so is risky though – people have been scammed when buying PS5’s at inflated prices, like an unfortunate man from the US state of Utah who was sent a concrete brick instead of the console.
The solution, then, might be to wait until supply can match demand, something that Sony’s Jim Ryan said his company is working on. The company is “ramping up” production of PS5s, according to Ryan, but it remains to be seen whether anyone who wants to buy a PS5 is able to do so by the summer, or maybe people will have to wait until the fall to get their new console…
This is something many will be looking forward to no doubt, as the PS5 will be getting some attractive exclusives like GhostWire: Tokyo this year, plus PS5 versions of popular games such as GTA V are in the pipeline too, so hopefully getting hold of a PS5 will get easier in the weeks and months to come.
Read more: Here’s why you might want to hold off on buying an Xbox Series X or PS5
PS5 console (Sony)