You might not need to pre-order a PS5 — here's why

(Image credit: Sony)

Pre-ordering the PS5 might not be necessary, as Sony is trying to have so many consoles ready in time for launch that a shortage may be out of the question.

Bloomberg Japan and Nikkei (via TechRadar) both report from anonymous sources that Sony is ramping up production to make sure it meets the high demand for new hardware, which is expected to be larger than originally anticipated due to coronavirus lockdowns.

There's not a definitive figure on how many more PS5s Sony is making in advance of launch day. But the total is believed to be 9 -10 million consoles, up from the 6 million that Sony had originally planned to make. There's no word on how this will be divided between the standard PS5, which comes with a disc drive, and the cheaper PS5 Digital Edition, which only supports downloadable games. This considerable quantity also raises the question of how easily Sony will be able to get all these consoles to retailers.

As TechRadar points out, this is far larger than even the six-month sale figures for the PS4: 7.5 million units shipped, with one million pre-ordered. Having up to 10 million consoles on hand will almost certainly avoid any problems with availability during this time frame. 

It's possible Sony's overdoing its preparation here in order to squeeze out one last advantage over the Xbox Series X. Since the new Xbox will be more powerful and has been rumored to be cheaper than the PS5, it could prove to be the console to get for users wanting the best next-gen experience who aren't concerned with exclusives. Therefore, the PS5's increased supply could tempt Xbox fans who can't get a hold of a Series X.

While there is a big difference between the Xbox Series X and the PS5 in terms of GPU output (12 teraflops for the Xbox, 10.3 for the PS5), both offer similar features like ray-tracing compatible graphics, up to 8K resolution output and SSD storage for speedy loading. Both are expected to emerge around November this year in time for the big holiday shopping season, but neither Sony nor Microsoft have yet to give an exact date.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.