Sony said there would be no PS5 shortage, but how come they are so hard to get?

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,641   +616
Staff member
In context: Sony's next-generation gaming console is here and is arguably the hottest item this holiday season. However, it is practically impossible to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 at retail outlets. Allotments sell out within hours of being replenished. Sony isn't giving solid figures on supply in the US, but sales in Japan are reportedly bleak and will not improve before the end of the year.

Sony's initial production estimates for the PlayStation 5 had the company shipping at least 10 million units during the holiday rush. Reports came out in September that indicated production had been cut by around 4 million units, sparking rumors of a shortage. Sony insisted it was on track and that those rumors were unfounded.

If that's the case, why has Japan only sold 118,000 and will sell no more until next year?

Famitsu notes that Japanese retail outlets have only moved 118,000 PlayStation 5 units in its first four days from launch. The only Japanese launch worse than the PS5 was the PS3, which managed less than 100,000 at launch. For reference, Sony sold over a million PlayStation 4 consoles within 24 hours in the US, and the PS2 sold more than 500,000 units on day one. Furthermore, retailers in the console's home country say they will not be getting fresh allotments until next year.

Keep in mind that Sony has not released global sales figures and likely won't announce them until Q1 2021 when financial reports come out. However, it seems clear from the Japanese sales that it is not a lack of demand holding the console back but a lack of supply. But is lower production causing the shortage?

Scalpers are getting top dollar for the high demand item on third-party selling sites like eBay. There are pages upon pages of PS5 auctions on eBay fetching nearly $1,000 per unit regardless of whether it is the standard or digital version. One digital version closed for $2,025. So the demand seems to be there. It appears scalpers are grabbing the lion's share of units available.

Still, why are Japan's numbers so low? Some reports have suggested that Sony reserved the vast majority of PS5 stock for the US and EU markets because of waning interest in Japan. If this is the case, and Sony's claims of 10 million units before year-end are true, global sales could already be over a million, but that is speculative at best.

The proliferation of scalpers may have a lot to do with the under-stocking situation we are seeing in the US. Sony's unit sales may be much higher than we are led to believe from the lack of retail availability, but we will have to wait until some official figures are released before we know how well the console sold at launch.

Masthead credit: Natanael Ginting

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texasrattler

Posts: 1,015   +452
Why does anyone need sales figures when you cant buy the product. Who cares if a country sells a million units when the supply is saying you need 2 million. Where are the so called 10 million units, they havent sold anywhere near that many units.

This seems to be another case of demand is high but they are sitting/holding on product for either Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Xmas. Sony better say they sold several million by Xmas or basically they lied about their so called 10 million units.
 
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brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
By mid-February we should see the quarterly public markets filings from these companies, in which it will be harder to obfuscate about revenue they did or didn't earn in Q4. May make for some interesting reading.
 
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Edster

Posts: 69   +51
Japan probably got the short end also because Xbox makes like zero headway in the market, is probably one of the worse performing market for them relative to the competitors. Part of the thinking is probably Sony directing more stock at more competitive markets.

But is an outright lie to say there is no shortage or they really have a lot of stock somewhere which they for some reason is withholding.
 

Mithan

Posts: 106   +92
Rumor is they are holding onto a lot of stock for Black Friday. Walmart is supposed to be loaded with it for example. I won't be surprised if this is true, and it would make sense for them to do that. Clearly they are full of crap about 10,000,000 units because if that number was true, you would be able to find them pretty much everywhere in North America and Europe.

However, the bigger issue here is that nobody tackles bots buying this stuff, which would be relatively simple from an IT perspective.
 
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brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
Rumor is they are holding onto a lot of stock for Black Friday.
I don't get the advantage to that? Clearly, they can sell all they have of the PS5, and just as clearly, they can pack their stores to the point of very long lines on Black Fridays even without a new console launch (see: each previous year.) If it were me, I'd worry the extra volume from console shoppers (sales which I'd get no matter what, and could have right now) would occupy space and time that could otherwise go to limited opportunity black-friday-only shoppers (who if they spend their time waiting outside the store instead of shopping, represent sales volume they won't be getting back.)
 

Achaios

Posts: 61   +204
Ya, it makes no sense.

If your product is sellin' like hot cakes at MSRP outside events like black Fri, then why not sell all of your units at MSRP at a higher price than deeply discounted on black Fri?

Busted.
 

amghwk

Posts: 867   +693
Sony said there would be no PS5 shortage, but how come they are so hard to get?
No shortages...... for scalpers. Not so hard to understand.

Anyway, few years ago, this nonsense was unheard of.

People should not give in to impulse buying and let these blood-suckers run dry and dehydrate with their own hoarding, and buy not at even msrp from these good-for-nothings.

Everyone should realize that these are robbers and never pay anything above it's value.
 
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cuerdc

Posts: 212   +62
Big fail from all retailers none of their sites work dont even know how anyone makes a purchase.
Sony could of easily sold direct to customer alot less logistics and without a wild goose chase around retailers.
Think if did manage to buy one would of sold it anyway with these silly prices people are paying.

Possibly next christmas thenšŸ¤£
 

sac39507

Posts: 333   +151
How can anyone make this claim? Do they really know how many people will buy? The only way you can say this with 100% confidence is if you can build on demand and your parts suppliers can produce on demand and the parts suppliers have access to unlimited raw materials. Sounds like just a marketing scheme to deter customers from buying other platforms.
 

Maxiking

Posts: 134   +151
Stop crying about "scalpers", there are a few people selling limited goods for higher prices, it happens all the time. If there were so many scalpers, as you trying to paint they would make actually no profit because OF SO MANY UNITS BEING FOR SALE.

Basic economics.

Oh, there are allegedly 10k units on eBay, oh, damn scalpers, the entire US would have had the console otherwise. Seriously
 
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Axiarus

Posts: 592   +389
Stop crying about "scalpers", there are a few people selling limited goods for higher prices, it happens all the time. If there were so many scalpers, as you trying to paint they would make actually no profit because OF SO MANY UNITS BEING FOR SALE.

Basic economics.

Oh, there are allegedly 10k units on eBay, oh, damn scalpers, the entire US would have had the console otherwise. Seriously
Ebay is not the only place scalpers are selling. They are also selling on Facebook, Craigslist and other places.
 

Xallisto

Posts: 116   +115
Stop crying about "scalpers", there are a few people selling limited goods for higher prices, it happens all the time. If there were so many scalpers, as you trying to paint they would make actually no profit because OF SO MANY UNITS BEING FOR SALE.

Basic economics.

Oh, there are allegedly 10k units on eBay, oh, damn scalpers, the entire US would have had the console otherwise. Seriously
Yes, god forbid people take issue with bots buying up units at 600 dollars faster than the eye can see and then selling them for double the price.

Just because it's "eCoNomIcs" doesn't mean that folks don't have a right to be aggrieved by the practice.
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 916   +556
When it comes to gpus these days msrp is more like a wish and you're legit lucky if you can EVER find 1 at ANY time during the products life cycle at or close to msrp.
 

mrvco

Posts: 98   +86
If I pre-ordered and received a PS/5 and I could get 2x, 3x, 4x more than I paid for it by flipping it, then heck yeah... why not flip it? They'll make p l e n t y more. A fool and his money are soon parted.