Is the PlayStation 5 Shortage Finally Over?

A PS5 next to a PS5 controller over a blue background

For most, the year 2020 was not kind. This includes any gamers that were looking to get their hands on a shiny new PlayStation 5 (PS5), which launched on November 12, 2020.

Fresh out of the oven, the PS5 was sought after by many, but obtained by few. Whether gamers were looking to purchase a PS5 in-store or online, they were greeted by empty shelves.

This came to be known as the PS5 Shortage. But, in 2023, is it finally over?

What Caused the PS5 Shortage?

There were a number of factors that contributed to the PS5 Shortage. One of the biggest factors was the global semiconductor chip shortage.

The pandemic restrictions meant semiconductor manufacturers had fewer workers. Not only did this impact supply, but this also meant manufacturers couldn’t ship their semiconductors as fast.

Semiconductor manufacturers also had to deal with increased demand. A shift toward working from home saw global demand for mobile devices, data centers, and PCs increase substantially.

a man seated in front of a TV leaning over and clasping his hands

It doesn’t stop there. For the millions of us that were locked inside our homes during the pandemic, we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves. For many of us, this was video games.

This led to massive demand in the home entertainment market. In particular, the console sector raked in a whopping $45 billion in 2020, according to an article by Forbes.

Having sold 4.5 million PS5 consoles in 2020, Sony accounts for a portion of this sum. Despite a global pandemic and supply chain issues, Sony’s sales were holding up quite well.

However, these consoles weren’t always ending up in gamers’ hands. Another contributing factor to the PS5 shortage was scalpers. The PS5’s popularity made it an easy target for scalpers that were stockpiling PS5s and re-selling them at massively inflated prices.

You probably had a better chance of winning the lottery than buying a PS5 at MSRP in 2020.

Sony Might Be Ending the PS5 Shortage

The doom and gloom of the semiconductor chip shortage and scalpers seems to have carried over into 2023. However, the Sony CES 2023 Press Conference (YouTube) has sparked hope in gamers around the world.

“Everyone who wants a PS5 should have a much easier time finding one at retailers globally starting from this point forward,” stated Jim Ryan, Sony’s President and CEO. Jim Ryan also stated that Sony has sold a total of 30 million PS5 consoles worldwide.

This is a testament to Sony’s efforts to make PS5s more available to its fans since the pandemic began.

official PlayStation Partner Awards 2022 promotional graphic featuring PlayStation's signature buttons

At the beginning of December 2022, Jim Ryan announced that Sony had resolved long-term supply issues in Asia. Sony didn’t mention how it made this possible, but this ultimately meant it was easier for customers in the West to secure a PS5.

If Jim Ryan’s words at the CES Press Conference are true, Sony has now resolved its supply issues globally, meaning it should be easier for everyone to get their hands on a PS5.

Is the PS5 Shortage Really Over?

A DualSense controller leaning against PS5 console and pink and purple lighting

While Jim Ryan’s words are a breath of fresh air, they aren’t concrete proof that the global PS5 shortage is truly over. The reality is, PS5s are still quite hard to come by.

Some PlayStation fans report that PS5s in their area are still unavailable, both in-store and online. However, the availability of PS5s will largely depend on a variety of factors like location, retailer, and model preference.

Regardless, you will still need a lot of patience and a bit of luck to secure yourself a PS5. Jim Ryan’s announcement just means it will be a little easier in 2023. If you have the cash to spend, scalpers have lowered their prices to be closer to the PS5s MRSP of $499.99 in the United States.

If you are willing to spend more but don’t want to support PS5 scalpers, your best bet is to buy the PS5 as a bundle. At the end of the day, whether you snag a PS5 or not, the PS5 Shortage is not over.

The Future of the PS5

The PS5 Shortage will likely last through 2023 so long as the semiconductor shortage and scalpers continue to impact supply and availability.

It will still be quite some time before you can walk into your local electronics store and walk out with a PS5 unscathed.

If you are desperate and have the money, consider purchasing a PS5 as a bundle. Otherwise, if you own a PS4, you may want to reconsider upgrading to a PS5.

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