Sony says demand for PS5 is far greater than it was for PS4 at the same point in its life cycle, yet the new platform still can’t match PS4 sales because of ongoing supply issues.
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reports in a new business briefing (opens in new tab) that in November 2021, one year after launch, consumer purchase interest in the PS5 was at 55%. For the PS4 one year after launch in November 2014, that number was at 28%.
PS5 beat PS4’s year one sales, but despite the increased demand, it hasn’t managed to match year two for the older console. As you probably known if you’ve spent time trying to figure out where to buy a PS5, that’s due to supply problems. “A year ago when I made this same presentation,” Ryan says, “I reported that PS5 was completely sold out everywhere in the world, six months after its launch. A year on, 18 months into its life, that remains the case.”
As Ryan notes, “The one area where we’ve fallen short of expectation is in our ability to supply the market with consoles. COVID-19 took its toll on our supply chain in 2021. The situation is starting to improve, although COVID-related uncertainties persist, specifically in the impact that ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing might have. But things are definitely improving. Right now, we’re planning on a significant ramp-up in PS5 production this year, allowing us to close the gap versus PS4 in its own third year, then to overtake PS4’s year four install base within FY23.”
Sony’s 2023 fiscal year ends in March 2024, which means that PS5 should start to match PS4 production levels sometime within the next year. “Beyond that,” Ryan says, “we’re planning for heavy further increases in console production, taking us to production levels that we’ve never achieved before.”
Heading into PS5’s fourth year – meaning after November 2023 – Sony expects the console to finally start outselling its predecessor. Ryan says that “there are many, many reasons why we remain convinced that PS5 will be our biggest ever platform,” including existing demand, game quality, and the current strength of the PlayStation brand.
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