PS5 Shortage to Continue Into 2022
This week, Bloomberg reported that the PS5 shortage is expected to last into 2022, far beyond what any gamer could have imagined as the consoles launched late last year.
The report is a secondhand account, citing that Sony’s CFO expects that demand for the PS5 will remain high, and that supply isn’t expected to match those same levels during the course of 2021.
This development is the latest in the saga of scarce high-end technology products, thanks to a global semiconductor shortage, the logistics of buying a PS5 has been harder than for any other console launch in history. The combination of the massive supply shortage of crucial components for the console and the higher than anticipated demand due to stay-at-home orders, the PS5 shortage has turned into a phenomenon. The gamers of the world have redirected their console wars animosity towards the scalpers who are helping to drive the shortage of consoles, using automated means to acquire the hardware to sell off at a higher price point. The pandemic has caused retailers to be weary of selling the consoles at physical, in-person locations, making it easier for scammers to acquire consoles in large quantities.
Both the pandemic and the Trump administration’s lasting impact on trade between China and the United States are to blame for the difficulty Americans have had in acquiring the PS5, but the hardware shortage doesn’t stop with Sony. American consumers have found it hard to buy nearly any high-end technology product, especially those in the gaming space. Demand has far outstripped supply for Xbox consoles and Nvidia’s newest lineup of graphics cards. Both of these companies have found it difficult to meet the demands of eager consumers who are still largely constrained to their homes.
Perhaps even more impressively, the four-year-old Nintendo Switch has also been sold out at all major retailers for the entirety of the last year. Demand shot up for the console at the beginning of the pandemic with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and it has remained high on many consumers’ lists. High demand coupled with early problems with production has made Nintendo’s console difficult to find for its suggested $299 price.
The console-buying game has coincidentally coincided, and even outlasted the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States. During the early period of the vaccine rollout, some Americans were splitting their time between hunting for vaccines and hunting for PS5 consoles.
But now, as the vaccine rate slows in the United States, it’s still just as hard as it has ever been to buy a PlayStation 5 as retailers release batches of consoles before they’re quickly sold out. Unfortunately, there seems to be more bad news before good news about console availability for the coming months, but with the slow release of new games exclusive to the PS5, there’s never been a better time than now to catch up on all of the games you missed from the previous generation. New hardware releases can often cloud the real reason we want these new consoles: to play the games!