Crippling PlayStation 5 Shortage Causes Sony to Switch to PlayStation 4

Sony’s strategy would add about a million PlayStation 4 units to offset the pressure on the company’s PlayStation 5 production.

Sony Group Corp. will continue producing PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles in 2022 as it breaks the global supply chain disruptions that have limited production from its more expensive PlayStation 5 (PS5). The Japanese conglomerate, whose flagship PS5 console has been in short supply since its debut in November 2020, told assembly partners late last year that it would continue making its earlier-generation machine until this year, according to people familiar with the matter. While Sony has never officially announced when it would stop making the PS4, it previously planned to stop editing at the end of 2021, they said, asking not to be named as the plans aren’t public.

The strategy would add about a million PS4 units this year to offset some of the pressure on the company’s PS5 production, a figure that will adjust according to demand, people said. The older console uses less advanced chips, is easier to make and offers a budget-friendly alternative to the PS5.

Increasing production orders by adding the cheaper PS4 would also give Sony more leeway when negotiating with production partners for a better deal, two of the people said.

A Sony spokesperson confirmed that PS4 production would continue this year and said the company had no intention of stopping making the console. “It’s one of the best-selling consoles ever and there’s always a crossover between generations,” the company said.

Sony’s ambition with the PlayStation 5 was to move quickly to the latest hardware, says PlayStation chief Jim Ryan. But the coronavirus pandemic slowed down software development in the game industry and also caused an increase in hardware demand, making even the most basic components scarce. The result is a console that is hard to find and lacks a strong portfolio of must-have exclusives.

Also Read  Steam Deck Tests Show Surprisingly Good MicroSD Load Times

The predecessor PS4, released in 2013, has sold over 116 million units to date and remains a popular option among players. It still provides a significant portion of Sony’s gaming division revenues from subscriptions and software sales.

The PlayStation unit is grappling with a series of unexpected challenges, including a slower-than-expected PS5 production pace and online scalpers choking the retail supply of the newer console. Expanding PS4 availability is seen within the company as a means of filling the supply vacuum and keeping gamers within the PlayStation ecosystem, said a Sony official who is not authorized to speak publicly.

Sony cuts PS5 assembly plans after chip shortages

One of the most serious bottlenecks in the supply chain today is low cost, general purpose chips for audio, power and wireless communication functions. Some console makers have found that even offering a higher price will not secure the supply of such components, as all current production has already been sold, the people said. Even with consoles completed, distribution remains a challenge as shipping costs have skyrocketed.

While gaming remains the largest source of Sony’s revenue, the Japanese electronics giant is exploring new arenas to support growth. It is preparing to release more powerful virtual reality headsets to take advantage of future games and applications in the so-called metaverse and is considering launching its own electric vehicles.

Leave a Comment