Sony’s quarterly report highlights inability to keep up with PS5 console demand

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Both Microsoft and Sony have released their quarterly earnings reports this week. While they represent different financial years respectively, the reports offer some insight into how the company’s gaming divisions have performed a few months after their next-gen consoles hit the market. Sony has revealed some interesting insights into the PS5 console in particular.

Namely that it will likely still prove difficult to purchase a PS5 console locally. In recent weeks and months we have seen South African retailers release limited amounts of stock, which have been snapped up within minutes of going live, leaving many avid PlayStation fans in the lurch.

It looks like the same is happening across the globe.

To date, Sony has shipped 7.8 million PS5 consoles, with 4.5 million being shipped during the initial launch in November of last year until the end of 2020. This means that only 3.3 million were shipped between January and March of 2021, pointing to an inability to keep up with demand.

As for why it was able to ship more during the launch window, that was likely due to a manufacturing push, with supply chains predicted to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020. As it turns out, those predictions turned out to be true.

So when will manufacturing return to normal? On that front, the Japanese company has not been able to provide any advice. This means that the limited amount of stock experienced locally since the turn of the year will continue indefinitely.

If that is indeed the case, it spells bad news for Sony’s local dominance, with the Xbox Series X|S looking like increasingly tempting alternatives. The next-gen consoles from Microsoft saw a massive hardware revenue growth of 232 percent for example.

Game Pass is also proving a hit, and a potential game changer for the company, with revenue in terms of Xbox content and services jumping 34 percent this past quarter.

As for Sony’s digital gaming services, the PlayStation Plus subscribers has shown steady growth at 14.7 percent year-on-year, but having seen both platforms, Game Pass is the more tempting at this stage.

Either way, while South Africa remains PlayStation country for now, the lack of availability for its next-gen console could see that change.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.