Sony is downgrading PlayStation 5 products for this fiscal year due to performance factors and logistical difficulties, according to people familiar with the business.
The Tokyo-based entertainment giant had previously set a target of more than 16 million units collected for the year ending March to meet sales targets for the period and start production next year. The company has reduced that number to around 15 million, and its target of 14.8 million PS5 sales in March is hard not to go public, according to information.
Problems with logistics and parts shortages for Sony have worsened, CFO Hiroki Totoki told investors late last month during a conference call. PS5 sales were slightly weaker than expected in the quarter to September, he said on Oct. 28, warning that continued Covid-19 sales could affect the company’s component supply.
With 10 million units sold in July, the PlayStation 5 became Sony’s fastest console, but has since outpaced the sales speed of its predecessor, the PlayStation 4.
Released a year ago, the PS5 was hard to find on the market during its period, largely due to Sony’s struggles to ship enough units worldwide. The uneven release of vaccines in developing countries where Sony suppliers have a manufacturing base has made the supply of chips and parts unpredictable.
Assembly partners are in daily contact with component manufacturers to ensure shipments arrive on schedule, which isn’t always the case, the people said.
Sony did not respond to a request for comment.
Low-power components include memorable but important devices such as power management chips. Chipmaker Toshiba, which supplies the power chips to a Taiwanese semiconductor company, has warned that manufacturing conditions will not return to normal by 2022.
Sony is not alone in its struggle to find a clear path through scarcity. Rival Nintendo slashed its year-round sales forecast for the Switch family of consoles by 1.5 million units in early November, while Bellevue, a Washington-based ventilator, launched its Steam Deck portable console between December and February, citing problems with global chains for shipping.
Disappointment with Sony’s limited supply is growing among game makers and console enthusiasts. Japan’s leading game publisher found that gamers who bought PlayStation versions of their games are now slowly buying computer versions, said a CEO who requested anonymity.
According to market tracker Famitsu data, PlayStation 5 games have so far had no impact on the Japanese sales chart, which is dominated by Nintendo’s Switch platform.
Shipments of the PlayStation 5 to production partners Sony are expected to remain limited through 2022 and it will be a challenge to produce enough units to meet the company’s sales target of $22.6 million in the following fiscal year.