PS5 restock — here’s why it’s so hard to get one

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're hoping to have a PS5 in the near future, we've got some bad news for you. You might be waiting a while. 

“So what else is new?” you may be muttering if you’ve been trying to find out where to buy PS5 amid the ongoing stock shortages. But there’s a reason why the PS5 has been hard to come by and why that might continue for a while.

As part of Sony’s quarterly earnings report, the company confirmed that it’s a shortage of semiconductors that’s preventing it from meeting the high demand for PS5 consoles. “"We have not been able to fully meet the high level of demand from customers [but] we continue to do everything in our power to ship as many units as possible to customers who are waiting for a PS5,” said chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki, according to an Ars Technica report.

Even worse is the problem isn’t getting any better. That same statement from Totoki noted that Sony is having difficulty increasing PS5 production.

In fact, the PS5 maker is taking a loss on each console it sells. While this isn't a particularly uncommon happening, as eventually Sony will turn a profit once this roadblock is sorted, it does mean there's a real push to ensure the system is priced competitively enough to continue to get players to adopt the PS5 whenever possible. 

Earlier in January, Digitimes reported that AMD, the company that contributes the custom 7nm CPUs for the PS5, had secured more capacity from semiconductor foundry TSMC in a bid to increase production. Even with 40 to 50% more production (about 1.4-1.5 million units in 2021), it appears the team is still struggling with meeting the PS5 demand. 

Previously, Sony had planned to ship 10 million PS5 units before March, but that number increased as needs for production did as well. It's unclear if Sony will meet these numbers now, especially given Totoki’s comments. 

With all the trouble people are going to when it comes to getting a PS5, is it actually worth buying? Our PS5 review hailed the new system as "the future of console gaming" that rewards users with “advanced haptics, beautiful graphics and almost zero friction between you and the games you want to play."

It's high praise, so it's definitely worth it to try and track down a PS5 right now. Hopefully it will become a bit easier to do so as time wears on.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.