PS5 remains on target for holiday 2020 ship, says Sony

And it's sold about 110 million PS4 consoles.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read

The new DualSense Controller.


The novel coronavirus is complicating things, but the  PS5 will still launch in time for the holiday 2020 shopping season, according to Sony. The company said COVID-19-related complications have affected component supplies for the PlayStation 4 in the short term, but highlighted that lifetime PS4 units sales broke 110 million mark as of the end of March 2020. 

In its year-end fiscal report for 2019 (report PDF, supplement PDF), Sony noted:

Regarding the launch of PlayStation 5, although factors such as employees working from home and restrictions on international travel have presented some challenges in regards to part of the testing process and the qualification of production lines, development is progressing with the launch of the console scheduled for the 2020 holiday season. At this point in time major problems have not arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony's own first-party studios or its partners' studios.     

The latter reassurance is important, because without games to show off the next-gen console's whizzy new capabilities, the PlayStation 5 would be a hard sell no matter how state-of-the-art. Microsoft faces the same challenges with its forthcoming competing Xbox Series X. Sony didn't address the potential scope of the PS5 launch, which might be limited, if the cost of manufacturing  -- and therefore the console's price  -- is too high to ensure the number of sales to early adopters the company is counting on.

Watch this: PS5's extremely techy presentation explained

Sony also remarked that lifetime sales of the PS4 (all configurations) hit a little over 110 million units as of the end of the first quarter of 2020. As you might expect, given the anticipation of the new console and market saturation, sales of the latest PS4 have slowed: 13.6 million in 2019 vs. 17.8 in 2018 and 19 the year before. That still comes nowhere near sales of the Nintendo Game Boy and DS.

The company says production issues were fleeting: "Although there has been a slight impact on production of PS4 hardware due to issues in the component supply chain, demand in the short-term is being addressed with current inventory and sales are trending well." In contrast, services like PlayStation Now and PS Plus have continued to grow steadily.

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