PS5 Supply Issues Continue While PC Game Sales Spike in Japan

Players who once bought games on console are getting them wherever they can now.

By all accounts, the PlayStation 5 is doing well for itself. As of September, Sony has sold over 13 million units, but the PS5 is starting to fall behind the PlayStation 4 due to supply shortages making it impossible to manufacture the console at the same rate. This has resulted in Sony altering its projected PS5s manufactured this fiscal year, dropping from 16 million to ~15 million. Not unlike the Switch, the PlayStation 5 is about to become even harder to track down, and it’s had an interesting side effect on some players’ gaming habits: some people are looking to buy games on PC, where they would have previously bought them on a console.

News of this comes from a report at Bloomberg, which goes into detail about the supply issues that have made PlayStation 5 manufacturing fall behind its originally projected numbers. Bloomberg mentions scarce parts such as power management chips are likely still going to be in short supply well into 2022. And apparently, the frustration isn’t limited to people trying to track down a PS5, as one Japanese publisher (who was not named) says that in the time since the PS5’s launch, it’s noticing a gradual shift in purchasing habits. Players who would usually buy a PlayStation version of a game are now buying PC versions. Which makes sense, as anyone who wants a “next-gen” version of a game could get it on a PC if they can’t find a PlayStation 5. Xbox Series X/S would also be an option, but the brand has never had great success in Japan. Though the system is apparently doing better than the Xbox One.

Could this mean Sony is about to start pushing for more of its games to come to PC? The company is already starting to move some of its heavy hitters from console to computer, with God of War (2018) set to make the jump next year. If supply issues continue to be a problem in the next year or so, we could possibly see Sony making bigger swings with its PlayStation-to-PC ports sooner rather than years after the fact.

In other news:

Broadly, PS5 games haven’t been making a huge impact on Japanese sales charts, and the scarcity of the system is likely at the heart of the issue. The Switch still dominates much of Japanese sales, but that system has been out for four years and is only recently dealing with its own supply issues. Sony is hardly the only company dealing with the problems, as Valve announced yesterday it’s delaying the launch of its portable gaming PC called the Steam Deck from its originally projected December launch due to the same shortage troubles. The system will now roll out in February.