Sony reportedly reducing PS5 production by four million units due to SoC issues

midian182

Posts: 6,009   +50
Staff member
Why it matters: Are you one of the many people hoping to grab a PlayStation 5 in the months following release? Finding one in stock might not be that easy. According to a new report, Sony has cut estimated production for the next-gen console by four million units to around 11 million by the end of March, the result of issues with its SoC.

With Covid-19 concerns resulting in more people staying at home and gaming than ever before, combined with the general excitement around the PS5, Sony expects demand for its machine to be high. As such, it had reportedly aimed to produce 10 million consoles before the end of 2020. But Bloomberg writes that those plans have been thwarted due to manufacturing problems.

One of the issues Sony is facing relates to the consoles’ SoC, which was designed alongside AMD. Production yields for the chip were said to be as low as 50 percent at one point, thereby cutting the number of usable parts by half. Those yields have been improving, but Bloomberg writes that they are “yet to reach a stable level.”

Even 11 million PS5 units by the end of March is more than previous predictions. Back in April, an expected high price meant Sony was only planning to ship 5 to 6 million consoles this fiscal year, fewer than the PS4 saw at launch—7.5 million in its first two quarters. But the pandemic and resulting boost to the gaming industry saw Sony increase its forecast.

Earlier this week, we heard rumors that Sony would be dropping the price of the PS5 and its discless sibling following the reveal of the Xbox Series X/S. The main console is expected to arrive at between $449 and $499, while the all-digital edition is thought to be $399, which is still more than the $299 Xbox Series S.

Eleven million units is still a lot, of course, but we’ve rarely seen so many people clamoring for the release of a new console— 84% of gamers are more excited about the PS5 than the Xbox Series X, according to a recent survey. If you want a PS5 for the holidays, best hit the pre-orders as soon as they open. We’ll find out more during Sony’s PlayStation 5 showcase, which takes place tomorrow (September 16) at 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,332   +3,159
I’m sure it’ll sell out at launch but NO, I’m not anxious to buy one.

I don’t buy consoles until I see must-have exclusives.

Warhawk, Twisted Metal and MK: Trilogy forced me to buy PS1.

PS2 didn’t give me what I wanted so I bought Xbox instead for Soldier of Fortune 2

Contra:SS and Gradius V forced me to buy PS3.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,206   +1,984
Well what about Series X then on the same process and fundamentally the same arch?

It's SoC is something like 20 percent larger with far higher sustained clocks. Surely yields are even worse.
 

pencea

Posts: 223   +172
I’m sure it’ll sell out at launch but NO, I’m not anxious to buy one.

I don’t buy consoles until I see must-have exclusives.

Warhawk, Twisted Metal and MK: Trilogy forced me to buy PS1.

PS2 didn’t give me what I wanted so I bought Xbox instead for Soldier of Fortune 2

Contra:SS and Gradius V forced me to buy PS3.
We get it mate. You hate consoles/AMD/Samsung and worship Nvidia/Intel/Apple. No need to keep repeating what you want and don't want every time there's a console article.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 379   +197
So TSMC is struggling to keep the pace, considering also Zen 3 and RDNA2 coming from the same design...
 

Adi6293

Posts: 567   +667
I honestly find it hard to believe that TSMC has all of the sudden developed yield issues on their 7nm node.
Guys they most likely don't have yeld issues due to damaged chips but Sony's required 2.23Ghz capable chips. They decided to be stingy with their chip and they have to push it to the limits to complete with the Xbox
 
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Xex360

Posts: 13   +13
Guys they most likely don't have yeld issues due to damaged chips but Sony's required 2.23Ghz capable chips. They decided to be stingy with their chip and they have to push it to the limits to complete with the Xbox
This 2.23ghz isn't sustained, it's variable just like modern GPUs and CPUs like Zen2, they can reach very high frequencies briefly, given that they are using AMD's technology it's certainly the same and the PS5 will only reach briefly this clock then throttle down, I believe this number was just thrown there to look better compared to Xbox, Microsoft did the same with last gen stating the transistor count.
 

Irata

Posts: 810   +1,140
TechSpot Elite
well, a lot of new things are on that 7nm node now...
Yes, but why would yields go down sharply? They were said to be over 90% and the die isn‘t huge.
Bloomberg didn‘t say they were capacity constrained, but even that would be unlikely unless they did not reserve enough wafer starts.
 

seeprime

Posts: 491   +526
Maybe yields are down a bit more than anticipated. Maybe Sony ran a market survey that showed that customers are not going to buy as many PS5's as Sony originally anticipated. Being suspicious of any PR these days, I suspect they intend to sell at a higher price than MS and will need to reduce their supply in order to justify the higher price, if this actually happens.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 379   +197
Yes, but why would yields go down sharply? They were said to be over 90% and the die isn‘t huge.
Bloomberg didn‘t say they were capacity constrained, but even that would be unlikely unless they did not reserve enough wafer starts.
TSMC never said anything about PS5 SOC yields. They just spoke about 7nm node in general.
PS 5 SoC could have a much lower yield by design even if using the same node.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 971   +424
I'll wait for the first round of price drops along with a slight redesign of the PS5
That wont be anytime soon. So expect around 2 yrs but wouldnt be surprised if it takes longer as the world changes after covid. Cause the world is NOT going back, those days are gone but companies move forward and the changes that are and will take place will be permanent.
 

dnous

Posts: 14   +10
So TSMC is struggling to keep the pace, considering also Zen 3 and RDNA2 coming from the same design...
The problem lies with the design by Sony. Both the CPU and GPU have variable clock speed and the developer can decide on how to divide the power budget. However this means that if the developer decides to blow the power budget on the GPU to get that 2.23GHZ then the chip should be able to maintain that speed continuously.

So the PS5 basically requires higher quality chips to hit an OC that developers may not even use. Microsoft went with lower clock speeds and more CUs and most likely have higher yields because of it.
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 971   +424
Isnt the Xbox alrdy proven to be faster. Will it be better, that we will find out soon enough.
Xbox is mainly going to focus on some new titles and their library. Their big games wont be coming til 2021(Halo). Which is fine because I dont believe many games will be rdy or optimized cause of the covid shutdowns. Id be surprised if Cyber Punk or Watch Dogs Legion dont get a big day 1 patch or take til next year to see what the games can really do.
 

ZackL04

Posts: 676   +437
That wont be anytime soon. So expect around 2 yrs but wouldnt be surprised if it takes longer as the world changes after covid. Cause the world is NOT going back, those days are gone but companies move forward and the changes that are and will take place will be permanent.
The world is not going back to what? WFH is the biggest change that will stick and I love the lack of traffic on the road and thats a major win for pollution too. Other than that I cant wait to take my mask off and go to a concert or sporting event full capacity
 

texasrattler

Posts: 971   +424
Going back to the way things were. Whatever that was for ppl is gone.
Until the risk is gone ppl well just be afraid to go out. Sure some wont care or just go about life as usual. Companies however, wont be. They will be moving on and forward. Granted some wont survive but the biggest ones will not only survive but also thrive.
 

HotToz

Posts: 20   +19
It can be a PR campaign to create urge in pre-orders, and suddenly just in November they can say they found a fix and can get the 4 extra millions.
At the end I don't care about consoles, I am a PC Gamer
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,031   +2,563
Isnt the Xbox alrdy proven to be faster. Will it be better, that we will find out soon enough.
Xbox is mainly going to focus on some new titles and their library. Their big games wont be coming til 2021(Halo). Which is fine because I dont believe many games will be rdy or optimized cause of the covid shutdowns. Id be surprised if Cyber Punk or Watch Dogs Legion dont get a big day 1 patch or take til next year to see what the games can really do.
At this point 17-20% extra power won't create a huge difference since most third party titles will use the PS5 as the baseline in terms of graphics. Xbox will have a few extra titles that will be native 4K, but that's about it. Most titles will also be on PC so a PC+PS5 is generally a better combo to get the majority of games.

The biggest reason to buy an Xbox over PS5 will be your friends and what consoles they have, although outside of the US you will not see many who own an Xbox and if they do they also have a PS4 (these kind of people will buy both consoles).

If the next Halo doesn't improve by a lot compared to its disappointing reveal then MS won't have a proper system seller and if the rumours of $399 for the digital version of PS5 are true then MS will have to pray that their smaller console is a hit :)
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 971   +424
It may not mean much to you n some others but to the masses it will. Cause they wont go by any numbers, they will just hear its stronger or more powerful. Personally I think both will do well.
The reality that they will even be available past Nov will be the true test. Not many believe either console will be available after Nov. We will see but I wouldnt be surprised if most dont get it till xmas or even until 2021.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 971   +424
MS has said that dont care about who wins. They make a console cause they can. Sony has their fans and MS has theirs. Some will get both cause they can or cause of friends. There should be a lot of crossplay to come this generation so not all will need to buy both. Just will depend on the game.