People want to buy a PS5, but can't
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During its most recent financial results event, Sony acknowledged that people want to buy a PS5, but that they are unable to do so due to supply issues in the manufacturing chain, as well as a shortage of semiconductors. This is something we've seen before, but Sony's acknowledgment is accompanied by some very interesting information: the company believes that the situation will improve sooner than expected, specifically in mid-2022.
Obviously, this does not imply that you will be able to purchase a PS5 without difficulty and at the normal price on that date. It will simply be the start of a slow recovery that will gradually lead to increased availability and prices closer to the console's recommended level.
Hiroki Totoki, Sony's CFO, was the one who provided all of that information. It was not by chance that only 3.9 million PS5 consoles were sold in the fourth quarter of 2021, a figure that represents a significant drop compared to sales for the same period in 2020, and that has remained even lower than the company's forecasts, but that brings us to what we expect in this news.
You can get an idea of what this means for Sony if you consider that the Japanese company's mobile division is sinking and its reliance on the PlayStation division is increasing.
Although Sony's CFO stated that the situation will begin to improve in the second half of 2022, the truth is that the semiconductor market will not recover until 2023. This implies that Hiroki Totoki's statements would be referring to the start of a cautious recovery, with the real impact on the consumer looking to buy a PS5 being practically negligible. This means that, yes, purchasing a PS5 will remain nearly impossible until 2022, at least at its current price.
But we must not forget that, in addition to the supply chain and semiconductor shortage, we will have to deal with the issue of scalping and speculation. For some time, reselling PS5 at inflated prices has been a very profitable business, so much so that some have amassed large sums of money, and they are reinvesting a portion of their profits in continuing to drain stock replacements and thus maintain zero availability and some very high prices.
It is evident that these guys are not going to give up easily and will try to prolong the situation as long as possible. However, once they are no longer able to drain the market, they may be forced to sell the units they have in storage, and if this creates an excess supply, they may be forced to lower prices.