PS5's Launch Supply Could Be Lower Than PS4 - Report

The company reportedly expects the higher PlayStation 5 price tag to impact demand, so it will segue new players into PlayStation Network services in the meantime.

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The PlayStation 5 is still planned to launch in 2020, but Sony could reportedly ship fewer PS5 consoles than it did with the PS4 back in 2013. This decision is not directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but competition from Xbox Series X and pricing, instead.

Bloomberg reports that an expected high price at launch will result in lower demand, leading to a decrease in production. As a result, the company is only planning to make 5-6 million units by March 2021. This is roughly 2 million units fewer than the 7.5 million Sony made for the PS4's launch. Competition may be driving the decision to go forward with limited supply, as the sources said that if Microsoft doesn't delay Xbox Series X, Sony won't delay PS5.

Sony has previously said that the launch shouldn't be impacted by the coronavirus. That's supported by this report, which states that production itself hasn't been impacted. That said, one factor weighing on Sony's price decision is said to be the scarcity of components, and coronavirus could still have unforeseen impacts on production as we move further into 2020. The pandemic has already prevented engineers from flying to China to direct assembly plants, and like much of the industry Sony expects game production to be impacted. We may have already seen a sign of that with the delay of PS4's The Last of Us 2.

One aspect that has already been impacted is promotion, which has reportedly undergone big changes in light of the pandemic. That includes the reveal of the DualSense, which Sony revealed in a post on the PlayStation Blog. Since the controller has been shared with developers, Sony couldn't put off the reveal due to the threat of leaks.

The company reportedly plans to use the PS4 to segue users into its PlayStation Network services until PS5 supply is more plentiful. It's also considering price cuts for the PS4 models around the launch of the PS5, to encourage adoption and drive up PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now membership.

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