Sony’s PlayStation 5 (alongside the Xbox Series X and S) has been nearly impossible to buy since its launch back in November. Those shortages will likely continue for a bit longer, according to Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. But stock should pick up in the second half of the year, he says.
The news comes from a series of interviews with Ryan from The Washington Post and the Financial Times, where the PlayStation boss reflected on the past several months since the PS5’s launch and the road ahead for the next-generation console.
“Demand was greater than we anticipated,” Ryan said, explaining the ongoing stock issues for the console. “That, along with the complexities of the supply chain issues, resulted in a slightly lower supply than we initially anticipated.”
Things will eventually improve, although it may take some time. “It will get better every month throughout 2021,” Ryan commented to the Financial Times. “The pace of the improvement in the supply chain will gather throughout the course of the year, so by the time we get to the second half of , you’re going to be seeing really decent numbers indeed.”
That said, Ryan wouldn’t promise that there would be enough stock for everyone who wants a console to get one this holiday season. The high demand for PS5s, combined with the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing most console sales through bot-infested online portals, means Sony is still facing serious constraints in how many people will actually be able to buy a PS5. “There are very few magic wands that can be waved,” notes Ryan.
Still, Sony is already seeing encouraging numbers in the breakdown of customers who have been able to buy a PS5. According to Ryan, 1 in 4 PS5 owners didn’t own a PlayStation 4 console, and half of all PS5 owners are new to PSN. (Sony’s online account system that the company has used since the PlayStation 3.)
Sony isn’t the only one hoping that next-generation console supplies will pick up in the second half of the year either. Mike Spencer, Microsoft’s head of investor relations, recently revealed that the new Xbox consoles will likely see supply constraints through at least June in an interview with The New York Times.