Why Sony may produce fewer PS5 units than planned

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Sony has reported run into supply chain troubles with the upcoming PlayStation 5, according to Bloomberg, something Sony denies. The PlayStation maker is said to have ramped down its production estimates by 4 million due to manufacturing issues with its upcoming gaming console’s custom-designed system-on-chip, but the company denies this is true.

“While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false,” a Sony spokesperson told Digital Trends. “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production.”

Sony was reportedly expected to produce about 15 million units of the PlayStation 5 for this fiscal year, but that figure has now been brought down to 11 million. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that production yields, a metric that manufacturers use to determine how many of the produced units are ready to ship against the number of defective ones, for the PS5’s revamped processor are as low as 50%, a relatively under average result. While this figure is reportedly improving, it has yet to reach a stable level.

Incidentally, Sony had boosted PS5 production by about 50% earlier this year in anticipation of the holiday season demand and the rise in gaming as more people, while sheltering at home, look for new avenues of entertainment.

Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said, in a tweet, that even though production issues such as this are fairly normal, especially at the beginning of a console launch, it does “seem more severe than expected.”

It’s also worth noting that this supposed supply chain snag likely won’t affect PS5’s sales in the initial months. Its effects would be more prominent later in 2021, depending on the demand and whether Sony manages to up its production yields in time.

In an earlier rumor, Ahmad claimed Sony will ship PS5 stock to the U.S. by air instead of sea, a more expensive decision to speed up shipments and meet retail demand.

Sony is hosting a virtual event on Wednesday, September 16, where it’s expected to announce PlayStation 5’s price and release date. The company began accepting pre-orders for the new gaming console late last month.

The Sony PlayStation 5 offers 8K gaming and 4K gaming at 120Hz thanks to a new eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, a custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU, and 825GB of SSD storage — that together can produce 10.28 teraflops of power, nearly double that of its predecessor, the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops.

Updated on September 15, 2020: This story was changed to reflect Sony’s rebuttal of lowered production reports.

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