PlayStation fans have been waiting a long time for this, but Sony will finally be releasing the PlayStation 5 (or PS5 as it’s known to its friends) worldwide in a couple of months’ time.
Some had feared, though, that getting hold of a PS5 this fall would be difficult taking into account that Sony was initially limiting production of the PS5 to about 5 million units. But seeing how so many people had taken to gaming during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sony decided to increase production target, and manufacture many more PS5s, meaning stock shortages are less likely to be an issue come this Christmas.
But a recent report by Bloomberg (via VG247) had said Sony was running into manufacturing issues with its new console, and had to cut production by a whopping 4 million consoles until March 2021 (which is the end of the company’s fiscal year).
This apparently had to do with poor chip yields (that is, how many chips out of a given batch are good enough to put in the console), and was therefore cutting its production target from 15 million consoles to 11 million.
However, an angry Sony is denying this, saying that while it won’t give details about the PS5’s manufacturing, the rumors about it not being able to make as many consoles as it wants are just not true.
“While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false”, Sony told Games Industry. “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production”, added the Japanese company in its statement.
And this will definitely be good news for those hoping to pick up a PlayStation 5 console later this year, even if Sony’s plan to manufacture more units, expecting increased demand due to the pandemic and the fact that PS4 has been the undisputed leader this console generation, may backfire.
Because the thing is that the PS4 (and its sibling the PS4 Pro) are still perfectly decent gaming machines, and despite their limited hardware are still getting incredible-looking games such as The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima. So the PS5 will need some fantastic exclusives to get people on board.
Maybe the likes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West will do the trick, but Sony might be overconfident if it expects the next generation to play out like the current one, in which it sold more than 100 million PS4s. Things might instead turn out like in the PS3 and Xbox 360 gen, when Sony was expecting the PS3 to dominate after the massive success of the PS2, but ended up second to the Xbox 360.
Also, Microsoft is giving Sony no quarter and has priced its upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles aggressively (at $299 and $499 US dollars respectively) meaning the new Xbox machines could steal some of the PS5’s thunder this year. Meanwhile, those yet to pick up a console this generation might instead go for a PS4, PS4 Pro or Xbox One instead, the prices of which are likely to plummet once the next-gen Xbox Series X and PS5s are out on the street.
So, will the PS5 be a success this year? It depends on what targets Sony has set for itself, and how eager customers are to pick up the console after it launches in November and during the critical Christmas period. But given the success of the PS4 it’s a given the PS5 will sell well too. It will almost certainly do better than the Xbox Series X given online surveys showing users are for more interested in Sony’s console, but it would be a disappointment if the PS5 did not at least match PS4 sales in its launch year.
Time will tell, then, whether the PS5 will be a hit like the PS4 has been, and whether its launch sales will be as strong as Sony is likely hoping for, but for now it’s great to know that Sony is still on target to make as many PS5 consoles as it had planned, meaning PlayStation fans should have an easier time getting hold of one come the PS5’s release date this year.