PS5 Production Is Ramping Up, And Sony Could Have 9-10 Million Ready By Launch
Sony is reportedly going to order 3 million more PS5 consoles than previously expected due to an increase in demand related to COVID-19.
A new report from the Nikkei Asian Review has some interesting details on the PlayStation 5. The site's sources claim that Sony is significantly increasing its shipment projection for the next-generation console. This comes after a report from April said PS5's launch supply could be lower than that of the PS4, but now that apparently will not be the case.
The company has increased its production orders from 6 million units to 9 million units, though the window of time for their production was not mentioned in the report. These units will be assembled at Sony's new factory in Japan where robots outnumber humans. Separately, Bloomberg reported that Sony is aiming to produce 10 million PS5 consoles by the end of 2020. That wouldn't necessarily mean that 10 million make it to store shelves by the end of the year.
"The electronics giant has informed assembly partners and suppliers it’s radically increasing orders for its next-generation console, though logistics may yet pose a challenge to delivering all those machines on time for the holiday shopping season, the people said, asking to remain anonymous," Bloomberg reported.
Nikkei's sources mentioned that order numbers could change in either direction based on market demand, so the 9-10 million figure is likely not set in stone.
Neither report had any details on the breakdown of production orders for the PS5 by SKU. In addition to the standard PS5, Sony is producing a disc-free PS5 known as the PS5 Digital Edition. On top of these two consoles, Sony will continue to manufacture the PS4 and the PS4 Pro.
Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad noted on Twitter, "Producing 10 million by the end of the calendar year sure is something if this report is true. It shows that they expect strong demand both at launch and through 2021." He added that Sony shipped only 4.5 million PS4 units by the end of 2013, and that it wasn't until June 2014 (following its November 2013 launch) that 10 million consoles had been shipped to retail.
10m production units doesn't mean they'll all end up in the hands of retailers before the end of the year.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 15, 2020
That being said, it took Sony til June 2014 to ship 10m units to retail.
So if true this does show Sony expects demand for PS5 to far surpass PS4.
Karn Chauhan, a senior analyst with Counterpoint, told Nikkei Asian Review it makes sense that Sony would seek to increase its production pipeline for the PS5 due to the pandemic and how it's led to a surge in gaming. "During the pandemic, the gaming industry witnessed a record number of online player additions as more consumers are considering gaming as entertainment at home," Chauhan said.
The same Nikkei Asian Review report said Facebook is looking to increase the production of Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets to 2 million units.
Recently, a pre-order page for the PS5 went live on Amazon, prompting some people to speculate that Sony might announce a release date and price soon. As of yet, that hasn't happened, but the console is confirmed to release this holiday season.