It’s quite the week for the PS5, with Sony now entering the fray to shoot down reports of possible console shortages.
The report by Bloomberg – seemingly corroborated by insider sources – suggested that Sony had downsized production by several million units, due to manufacturing issues around a key processor.
Now, however, Sony has explicitly denied the report, telling GamesIndustry.biz that “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production.”
Sony added: “While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false.”
It’s unusual to see a console manufacturer shut down rumors so quickly, though perhaps unsurprising in this case, given Sony’s stock price took something of a dive after the news broke.
With a PS5 live stream planned for September 16, too, Sony likely wants to prevent anything overshadowing its incoming announcement – presumably including the price and release date for the PS5 and PS5 Digital consoles.
The final pieces in place
The Bloomberg report stated that Sony’s initial production forecast had been cut by four million units, which is a sizable amount, and naturally led to speculation (including by TechRadar) that there might be shortages in the months after launch. This isn’t an unusual problem – the runaway success of the Nintendo Switch has left many struggling to find units in stock at times – but it doesn’t bode well for a console’s launch either.
We’re likely to learn the PS5 price and release date during this week’s livestream, and based on this we’ll have an idea of how high demand is likely to be for the new console. If Sony closely matches Microsoft’s Xbox Series X price, it’s hard not to imagine that the PS5 will win in a direct fight, and the number of people pre-ordering the console will be very high.
If the PS5 is significantly higher in cost, the story could be different. Demand is likely to be shaped by the gap in price – and Microsoft also has the advantage of a console with a much-lower entry point, the Xbox Series S, to lean on.
Healthy supplies or not, then, the number of people pre-ordering a PS5 this year is probably going to be shaped by what we learn about Sony’s plans this week.