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June 16, 2024

Sony Doubles Down on PS5 Despite Ongoing Shortages

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Jan 17, 2024

Sony has announced plans to continue investing heavily in PlayStation 5 production and development, despite ongoing shortages and criticism over the recent The Last of Us Part II remaster. With over 30 million PS5s sold to date, Sony appears confident in the console’s long term prospects.

PS5 Sales Remain Strong, But Shortages Persist

The PS5 first launched in November 2020 and quickly sold out, kicking off an extended period of low inventory. While Sony has nearly doubled production, demand continues to outpace supply over two years later.

As reported by VGC, PS5 sales recently topped 30 million units. That’s just behind the PS4’s 34 million units sold in its first two years back in 2013. However, PS5 shortages mean there is still substantial unmet demand.

Getting your hands on Sony’s latest console remains a challenge, especially with recent COVID-related factory shutdowns in China further constraining production. Stock informers like PS5StockAlerts have become popular among gamers desperately hunting for restocks.

When PS5s do hit store shelves, they sell out in minutes. The roughly 7 million console sales gap between the PS5 and PS4 launches underscores ongoing production bottlenecks. Former PlayStation CEO Shawn Layden estimates it may be 2024 before supply normalizes.

Console Units Sold in First Two Years
PS5 30 million
PS4 34 million

While Sony is selling every PS5 it manufactures, shortages have slowed adoption. Launch aligned titles like Spider-Man Miles Morales have sold over 6.5 million copies. However PS5 exclusives haven’t kept pace with flagship PS4 titles like 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, which sold over 13 million copies in its first year.

Until Sony can materially improve production yields, shortages will continue limiting PS5 game sales potential.

Sony Investing Heavily in PS5 Games and Services

Despite challenges ramping up production, Sony appears bullish on PS5 prospects. Last May they raised their PS5 production forecast from 16 million to 18 million units for 2022. More recently PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan reiterated they are planning record production this year, expecting shortages to finally ease in 2023.

At CES 2022, Sony also highlighted major investments in new first party studios, including its acquisition of Bungie for $3.6 billion. An expanded partnership was similarly announced with Firewalk Studios, founded by former Destiny developers.

These investments indicate that despite ongoing PS5 scarcity, Sony is aggressively expanding its game development capabilities for future platform exclusives. Sony also continues evolving PS5 system software with new features like variable refresh rate support and an overhauled PS+ subscription service.

While short term hardware shortages persist, Sony is laying the groundwork to dominate the second half of this console generation. With major games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 not launching until 2023, an attractive subscription offering via the revamped PlayStation Plus program offers Sony an opportunity to drive recurring revenue in the interim.

The Last of Us Remaster Sparks Backlash

Not all of Sony’s recent PS5 announcements have been met positively though. Earlier this month during CES 2023, Sony officially unveiled The Last of Us Part II remaster for PS5.

The release sparked some backlash and confusion as the original PS4 version only launched in 2020. Director Matthew Gallant defended the rapid remaster, noting the addition of a new Rogue-like mode and technical improvements for PS5. Reviewers generally praised these new additions but questioned the full $69.99 pricing.

The original The Last of Us is also being remade exclusively for the PS5, targeting a late 2023 release date. Some fans have accused Sony of overcharging for remasters and remakes given shortages of new next-gen exclusives. So far in 2023, Sony has only announced vague release windows for games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Final Fantasy XVI.

While The Last of Us II Remastered launches January 19th, some fans would clearly prefer Sony focus resources on new games rather than remasters of recent PS4 titles.

However with the PS4 exceeding 117 million lifetime sales, Sony is likely looking to entice holdouts to upgrade. Providing PS5 enhanced versions of popular last-gen games could help drive further adoption once hardware ultimately becomes more readily available.

But there is a risk that an overly aggressive remaster strategy breeds resentment rather than stimulates demand. Sony will need to strike a careful balance given continued constraints on next-gen exclusive content.

Outlook Hinges on Increasing PS5 Supply

Over two years since launch, interest in the PS5 remains sky-high even as Sony struggles to manufacture enough consoles. Although short term hardware shortfalls continue slowing adoption of next-gen exclusives, Sony is aggressively expanding their first party capabilities for future releases.

The onus remains on Sony to materially improve production yields though. New services and better legacy title support via PS5 enhanced remasters might help limit impatience. But as rivals like Microsoft begin launching major new franchises, Sony’s position depends on getting far more PS5s into gamers hands over the next 6-12 months.

Until retail availability approaches some semblance of normalcy, it is premature to draw any decisive conclusions about Sony’s market position this generation. For now the status remains: great console, terrible availability. Sony’s 2023 hinges on finally changing this narrative.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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