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Sony says its PlayStation 5 shortage is finally over, but it's still hard to buy

The new Sony PlayStation 5 gaming console is seen for sale on the first day of its launch, at an electronics shop in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture on November 12, 2020.
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU
/
AFP via Getty Images
The new Sony PlayStation 5 gaming console is seen for sale on the first day of its launch, at an electronics shop in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture on November 12, 2020.

Sony announced that its PlayStation 5 shortage is essentially over.

The company's gaming boss, Jim Ryan, said on Wednesday that Sony has now sold 30 million PS5's worldwide. He noted that December 2022 was the "biggest month ever" for the console's sales.

"Everyone who wants a PS5 should have a much easier time finding one at retailers globally starting from this point forward," said Ryan, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, as part of Sony's 2023 Consumer Electronics Show.

The console was released in November 2020, but was very difficult to obtain for most of its lifespan. A semiconductor chip shortage limited Sony's production of new PS5 consoles. Other supply chain issues prompted by the global coronavirus pandemic didn't help.

Mostly, obtaining a PS5 required getting very lucky in an on-the-spot release of new supply, or being willing to pay significantly more than the console's MSRP.

It took until August 2022 to be deemed "almost easy to buy."

In Sony's press conference, Ryan said supply improved steadily toward the end of 2022. Sony announced it passed 25 million units sold in November 2022, and presumably sold about five million more consoles in December 2022 alone.

"We truly appreciate the support and the patience of the PlayStation community as we managed unprecedented demand amid global challenges over the past two years," Ryan said.

However, as of Thursday at noon, PlayStation 5 consoles are still out of stock at BestBuy and most GameStop stores.

Amazon lists the console as "available by invitation" and includes a disclaimer that the item is in high-demand and has limited quantities. The last wave of invitations went out on Dec. 30, 2022.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Roshan Fernandez
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