Sony seems to be expecting a higher demand for the upcoming Playstation 5, having reportedly increased the orders from its manufacturing partners.
The news comes via reports from both Nikkei Asian Review and Bloomberg (paywall), citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter. Though there is some disagreement about the level to which Sony is increasing production – Nikkei claims Sony is looking to produce 9 million units by the end of the year, while Bloomberg claims the figure is 10 million.
Either way, this is an increase from the initially planned 5 to 6 million units – almost doubling the orders, going by Bloomberg’s figures. This at the time was attributed to COVID-19’s impact on production, particularly in China. Now however, supply chains are seemingly returning to normal levels. Which, alongside the increased demand for gaming during the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as concerns about a second wave keeping people stuck at home for longer, is pushing Sony to increase production.
According to sources these orders are still subject to change, up or down, depending on market demand following the console’s launch.
Despite the boost in manufacturing, it is still possible that Sony may struggle to bring enough units to store shelves for the coming holiday season. Much of Sony’s consoles are produced in China and shipped worldwide, a process that can take months when shipped via sea to the US and Europe. It is possible that Sony could use air cargo to deliver units faster, as it did in 2013 for the Playstation 4 launch, but airlines are running reduced schedules due to COVID-19.
Nintendo recently had a similar issue, struggling to meet the increased demand for the Nintendo Switch at the start of lockdown.
The Playstation 5 entered mass production in June, and under the current plan, Sony is expecting to produce 5 million units by the end of September, which the additional 4-5 million units produced between October and December.