Almost 18 months since the PlayStation 5 launched and Sony is still tackling supply issues to help meet consumer demand. But why? After all this time surely the issue must be fixed? Or at the very least getting better? Well, the answer is complicated.
2022 has been particularly quiet for PS5 restocks so far. On average, only a couple of retailers have been putting stock up for sale on a weekly basis, resulting in these restocks selling out in anywhere between five to 20 minutes – one restock from Asda in March didn't even last two minutes. A big difference from the November to December period when we were seeing multiple drops of consoles per day.
The reason for the slow start to the year is down to Sony changing its shipping system to air freight for the Christmas period. The big boost in console sales during that time is now recovering with Sony now switching back to its regular shipping method via sea (according to sources at PS5 Stock UK (opens in new tab)).
Alongside this, you still have chip shortages caused by the global pandemic. According to US electronic component distributor Sourcengine (via Nikkei (opens in new tab)), the lead time for chip orders in February increased from five to 15 weeks longer than in October last year. Until the market meets consumer demand, chip shortages aren't expected to catch up and resume normality. We wouldn't expect this to be resolved until 2023 at the earliest.
The good news is that April is now set to be the biggest month of the year for PS5 restocks yet with a "few large drops" expected this month (again via PS5 Stock UK (opens in new tab)). These more frequent and larger drops are now predicted to continue throughout the rest of the year, as Sony looks to grow its 17.3 million PS5 users.
Amazon, for instance, last went live last on March 24th but had much lower stock than usual. The same thing has happened continuously for GAME over the last couple of months, with the retailer's website seemingly having dozens of bundles listed yet only a few can actually be purchased. Argos is another that has only held two restocks this year, however, was one of the best places to get one in 2021.
With Sony now on the verge of announcing its new PS5 subscriptions service, the timing would make sense to try and get more consoles in people's hands. Additionally, with more and more PS5 exclusives in the works, Sony needs an install base big enough to justify only releasing on that platform. In that sense, it's no surprise that Horizon Forbidden West also launched on PS4 and God of War Ragnarok is planned to do the same.
In the meantime, if you are still looking for a PS5, the best way to keep track of all the latest restocks is by heading to the official T3 PS5 restock tracker – and don't forget that you can invest in one of the best TVs for PS5 in the meantime, ready for when you can get a console.