Good luck finding a PlayStation 5 before 2022

Finding Sony's next-gen console will feel like a wild goose chase well into next year.

Close-up of a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.

If you’ve been scouring the internet for the PlayStation 5, we have some bad news. You might want to sit down for this. Stock of Sony’s beast of a console isn’t expected to improve until at least 2022, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

Sony execs reportedly told market analysts not to expect it to be any easier to find a PS5 through the remainder of this year, and that even in 2022 it might be difficult for Sony to keep up with demand.

“I don’t think demand is calming down this year and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units of the PlayStation 5 next year, our supply won’t be able to catch up with demand,” Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said at the briefing. Several people who attended the meeting tipped off Bloomberg to the briefing’s contents, asking for their names to not be made public.

Somehow Sony has managed to secure landmark sales of the PS5 despite this shortage — but would-be gamers are growing tired of the chase. This news is pretty bleak. At this point it might just be easier to find Nike’s PlayStation 5 sneakers instead.

Expectations vs. reality — From its November 2020 release through the end of March, Sony sold nearly 8 million PS5s. That’s nothing to sneer at; in fact those sales helped Sony reach a record operating profit of $3.14 billion last year.

The company has set itself a goal of 14.8 million units sold during the full span of 2021, in order to keep it on track to eventually surpass sales of the PlayStation 4. During Q1 of this year, Sony sold about 3.3 million consoles — slightly under the average it would need to hit 14.8 million by 2021’s end.

Totoki reportedly told analysts that Sony is hoping to ramp up production as soon as possible. Given that the world is still very much being held in the grips of an extended semiconductor shortage, ASAP might come later rather than sooner.

Everyone’s feeling the backup — The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on electronics industries. Production of semiconductors and other pivotal device components saw huge cuts at the beginning of the pandemic; now that production facilities are open again, they’re still very much racing to catch up. Microsoft has been facing severe shortages right alongside Sony, and even Nintendo is now warning investors that component shortages could impact this year’s Switch sales.

This shortage goes far beyond next-gen gaming. Automobile manufacturers are being forced to look for vehicle chips in unique locations; Nvidia’s top-notch GPUs are all but impossible to come by.

It’s good news that Sony is taking shortages seriously and doing everything in its power to ramp up production; the bad news, of course, is that there’s really nothing consumers can do but wait it out.