Sony cuts PlayStation 5 production due to chip shortages, COVID-19 delays

A Sony PlayStation 5 controller in front of a blue background
That could leave Kiwis hoping for some Christmas console fun disappointed. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwis hoping to snatch up a new PlayStation 5 before Christmas may be left disappointed as Sony has reduced the number of consoles it is producing.

The PS5 launched in New Zealand on November 12, 2020 and has been largely absent from shops for the majority of the time since its release, with the tight supply seeing many sell for well above their retail price via Facebook Marketplace and Trade Me.

A big part of that has been due to the shortage of semiconductors and logistic issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bloomberg has reported that component shipments are still being delayed and the varying levels of vaccine rollout at the production facilities have also complicated things.

This has led the Japanese tech giant to signal a reduction in production from 16 million to 15 million consoles, which will make its goal of selling 14.8 million consoles this financial year, announced last month, more difficult.

After becoming the fastest Sony console to sell 10 million units in July, the PS5 has since fallen behind the sales pace of the PS4 because of the lack of stock.

But it's not just Sony being impacted by difficulties around component shortages.

Valve's Steam Deck PC, a handheld device announced in July, has just been delayed by two months and now won't be available until February. That comes hot on the heels of Nintendo cutting its Switch sales forecast by 1.5 million.

Apple has also prioritised components for its flagship iPhone 13 ahead of the iPad due to chip shortages, Nikkei has previously reported.

PlayStation's advice to Kiwi gamers hoping to secure a console earlier this year was to stay in touch with their local retailer for updates.

Among popular online stores in New Zealand, none are currently showing any in stock with both JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman both indicating expressions of interest can now only be registered in store.

PS5 consoles continue to be sold on second-hand markets like Trade Me and Facebook Marketplace for inflated prices. Purchasers there, however, run the risk of not having any comeback against the seller should the console prove defective during its warranty period.