Anyone looking for Sony’s latest PlayStation 5 console since its launch has probably been out of luck. It’s safe to say that demand greatly outweighs supply as gamers are desperate to upgrade to the next-gen hardware. The same has been true of Microsoft’s Series X console.
Gamers got some good news on Wednesday when Sony confirmed that it plans to have many more PS5s available in the final days of 2020. The new units should arrive in time for the holidays and will be available through a number of retailers.
It became clear on the PS5’s launch day that the console would be difficult to find—just like every other major console around its release date. The impact of bots buying up all of the inventory during launch day events seems to be a bigger problem than ever. Within minutes, every retailer had sold out of the PS5 when it launched on November 12. Since then, it has been almost impossible to find despite some small restocking events at retailers like Walmart and Target.
Now, almost two weeks later, it remains out of stock at most locations. Sony has called the PS5’s launch its “biggest” ever. What that means remains unclear. The company could be referring to units purchased by manufacturers or those actually bought by consumers. Either way, it appears that the PS5 is certainly going to break PlayStation records.
Sony’s tweet on Wednesday provided some clarification on when gamers should expect the new console to be back in stock. It says, “We want to thank gamers everywhere for making the PS5 launch our biggest console launch ever. Demand for PS5 is unprecedented, so we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers before the end of the year.”
We want to thank gamers everywhere for making the PS5 launch our biggest console launch ever. Demand for PS5 is unprecedented, so we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers before the end of the year – please stay in touch with your local retailers.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) November 25, 2020
While that seems like good news, not everyone is feeling positive about it. Many fear that scalpers will once again purchase the latest batch of consoles before regular consumers have a chance to.
It will be interesting to see if more availability decreases those efforts. Hopefully, it will be possible for people to get their hands on a PS5 without sitting in front of the computer hitting refresh for hours or paying an absurd price for one that is being resold.
Many have been quick to assume that the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for the shortage of next-gen consoles. While it has likely had an impact on PS5 and Xbox Series X production, it isn’t the main reason for the underwhelming supply.
Earlier this week, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan told gamers that the console would still be sold out even if the world wasn’t in a pandemic.
The problem appears to be the same one that has plagued console makers since the beginning—poor planning. At this point, Microsoft and Sony should know that demand for their latest consoles is consistently through the roof.
Better pre-production planning and manufacturing that can produce more consoles in a short window seem to be the only ways to fix the issue. Perhaps the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles will get that right. For now, gamers looking to upgrade will need to pay close attention to retailers’ websites and social media channels.