Sony is paying attention to Nintendo’s current struggles to get Switch consoles into customers’ hands. The company behind the iconic PlayStation system has obviously learned from their competitor’s mistakes, in addition to their long history of rolling out new versions of their consoles. So as we approach the holiday season and the release of the highly anticipated PS5, Sony is wisely doubling their production output from 5 million to 10 million units, all the better to get those sure-to-be pricey products into people’s homes this year and next.
Bloomberg reports, “according to people familiar with its plans”, that Sony Corporation is beefing up their PS5 orders for a few reasons: The first and obvious one is to meet demand this holiday season. The second is to make sure they have enough stock going into early 2021 when more buyers might be inclined to pick up a PS5 after the first wave of early adopters have come and gone. The third is less obvious, and hopefully less frequent in the years to come, because it has to do with trying to stay ahead of complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has thrown global production pipelines and distribution systems into chaos, so Sony is hoping that doubling their order now will head off further complications down the road.
And yet more complications may arise sooner than later. Sony had originally planned to produce 5 to 6 million PS5 units — which includes all the system’s various components like hardware and standard peripherals, like the PS5 DualSense controller — by March 2021. Now, they’ve informed their production partners that they’re basically doubling output in the same timeline. But even if the manufacturing side of things can meet that demand, constraints on shipping logistics may put a pinch point on the whole plan anyway. With a majority of Sony’s PS5s being manufactured in China and shipped via sea to distribution centers around the world, there may still be bottlenecks aplenty as we approach the holidays.
Production began just last month with an expected completion of 5 million units by September; another 5 million will be assembled by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, if all goes to plan. That second batch will likely become stock, shoring-up for 2021, but who knows how quickly the first batch will go and whether or not Sony will be able to dip into their doubled-up reserves. When it comes to delivery, Sony certainly has the air option, which the company used during the last launch for the PS4, but that wasn’t during a global pandemic. Airlines have drastically reduced their activity, though an opportunity to ship millions upon millions of PS5 units might just be a win/win for Sony and the airline industry, at least short-term.
Unfortunately, we still don’t have word on a price point, a pre-order date, or a release date just yet. Stay tuned because that should be arriving some time next month.