PlayStation 5 surpasses 10 million sales as New Zealand supply cannot meet demand

Companies like Sony and Apple are being impacted by a global chip shortage.
Companies like Sony and Apple are being impacted by a global chip shortage. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sony has announced its PlayStation 5 gaming console has sold more than 10 million units globally since launching last November, outstripping sales of its predecessor even as the Japanese firm grapples with a global chip shortage.

The PS5, which offers major graphics and performance upgrades over the PS4, remains in short supply as the COVID-19 pandemic strains global semiconductor supply chains while demand has risen amid a gaming boom with more people staying indoors.

"We've built more PlayStations faster than we ever have before which makes me happy. But on the other hand, we're some time from being able to meet all the demand that's out there, which makes me feel bad," Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan told Reuters.

"Our partners are performing really well for us, but the chip shortage is definitely a challenge that we are all navigating."

Boosted by exclusive games like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which has sold more than 6.5 million copies, the PS5 has sold faster than the PS4 did when it was launched. 

It took Sony around nine months to sell 10 million units of the PS4, which had a staggered launch. More than 100 million units of the console have been sold since November 2013.

In Aotearoa, PlayStation has recommended gamers staying in touch with their local retailer for updates as the shortage remains.

None of the popular New Zealand online stores currently show any consoles for sale but there has been some limited availability over the last few weeks - but they've been snapped up quickly.

That lack of stock has led to consoles being sold for a premium on Facebook Marketplace and TradeMe, often with a mark-up of more than $200 above the retail cost for the pricier disc version.

Electronics makers warn of deepening semiconductor shortages, with Apple saying the shortfall is affecting iPhone production.

"Sony's deep expertise in supply chain management for consumer electronics has enabled it to weather the worst impacts of the pandemic even during the launch of a new product," said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at Ampere Analysis.

Sony sees demand for the PS5 remaining high even as vaccinations spur easing of curbs on going out, Ryan said.

A strong games slate will be crucial to maintain momentum amid competition from Microsoft's rival Xbox device, analysts say.

Another first-party title for Sony, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, has sold more than 1.1 million copies since its release last month. First-party titles refer to games from companies that are owned by the firm making the console.

The group forecasts PS5 hardware sales of at least 14.8 million units in the year through March.