Sony is reportedly ordering at least 50% more Play Station 5 consoles that the company initially planned to sell this year. And, Oculus is also increasing orders for VR headsets.
According to Nikkei, Facebook and Sony are going to increase the output of upcoming gaming devices by 50%. This is nothing but a sign of how major tech companies are winning from consumers’ thirst for home entertainment during the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
It seems that Sony was expecting the production of six million consoles this year. However, Nikkei reports that the figure has now grown at about nine million. At the same time, Bloomberg believes that Sony PS5 production increase would make the figure reach 10 million.
As for Facebook’s Oculus, Nikkei reports that it is expecting to see a growth of at least 50% from a year ago for the latest version of the head-mounted VR devices, increasing the production to over 2 million units.
Increased demand for at-home entertainment drives Sony’s decision
Both publications, Nikkei and Bloomberg, highlight the idea that the increased demand for at-home entertainment drives the two big tech companies’ decisions to increase production for their gaming devices in times of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, Nikkei believes that it is also a sign of optimism that many suppliers in the entertainment segment might follow.
During the lockdown caused by the ongoing global pandemic, the gaming industry experienced a record number of online players additions as more consumers see gaming as a fun entertainment at home. Yet, the orders could still be subject to change, going up or down based on market demand after the product launch.
Following Sony PS5 production being increased by 50%, if Sony succeeds to sell so many PS5 consoles that it has ordered by the end of this year, this would be a significant increase on it its predecessor. In other words, Sony would be selling about 9 to 10 million units of its latest version of PS, while it has only sold 4.2 million units of its PS4 which was launched in November 2013.
As for Facebook’s decision to increase its VR devices production, Nikkei reports that it may represent the social media giant’s desire to become more present in the emerging VR market, where it is the market leader, holding nearly 35% market share.
During the pandemic, gaming hardware was often really difficult to buy as suppliers were struggling to meet the increased demand. To be more precise, Oculus, for example, has experienced severe supply constraints as its Quest headset was frequently selling out as soon as it was restocked. At the same time, Nintendo also experienced difficulty in meeting the demand for both its Switch and its home fitness game called Ring Fit Adventure.
So, the chances are that Sony PS5 production increase and Facebook’s Oculus VR production increase is a part of contingency plan the two big tech companies are applying to make sure they don’t experience severe supply constraints due to the increased demand.