PlayStation 5 shortages are expected to continue throughout 2021 and even into 2022 as analysts see no “end in sight” for supply chain issues.
Since launching back in November Sony says it has sold more than 4.5 million PS5s, but the console’s launch has been plagued by supply chain shortages which have made it near impossible for everyday shoppers to get their hands on one.
The pandemic has led to huge disruption in the manufacturing of semiconductors, which analysts believe will take many more months to recover.
Matched with skyrocketing demand from the automotive and smartphone industries, this shortage means both Sony and its rival Xbox manufacturer Microsoft are simply unable to produce enough consoles to match demand.
According to the Financial Times, analysts believe this semiconductor slowdown could extend into 2022 and that Sony’s supply chain will be unable to catch up unless demand for microchips slows down.
Despite this gloomy outlook, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s chief executive Jim Ryan said he believes the situation “will get better every month throughout 2021”.
“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 (2021), you’re going to be seeing really decent numbers indeed.”
However, Ryan refused to comment on whether supply chains will have caught up in time for Christmas, adding that there “are very few magic wands that can be waved.”
The continued drip-feeding of stock to retailers across the UK has inadvertently fuelled the rise of scalper groups, exacerbating shopper’s inability to get their hands on a PS5.
Scalper groups specifically target items in high demand which have very limited stock, using automated bots to seek out and buy up the stock far faster than any human could manage, then resell it for a highly inflated price.
If Sony continues to drip-feed PS5 stock throughout the year, scalper groups will continue to exploit the skyrocketing demand unless some form of legal intervention is made.
It comes as a petition to ban scalping practices in the UK has gained 13,000 signatures, surpassing the 10,000 threshold for it to be considered by the government.
Earlier this month, Douglas Chapman MP brought forward a private member’s bill to criminalise scalping in the UK.
Speaking to Sky News, Chapman referred to the practice which is still completely legal in the UK, as a “total scam” and “profiteering”, but admitted it was unlikely his bill would become law.