It seems low supply isn’t enough to stop Sony from opening up PS5 sales in yet another country because today Sony announced plans to begin selling the PS5 in China in mid-May.
Despite being launched almost half a year ago, Sony has struggled to keep up with the demand for the PS5, forcing customers to watch for restock alerts, fight with bots, or even pay extra to scalpers just to get their hands on Sony’s latest game console.
And while Sony’s decision may anger some fans who have had a hard time procuring their own PS5, Sony is still looking to expand the PS5's presence by opening pre-orders for the PS5 today, with official retail sales set for May 15. In China, the standard PS5 with a disc drive is set to cost 3,899 yuan (around $600), while the digital-only model will go for slightly less at 3,099 yuan (around $475). So even with its later arrival, Chinese buyers are still paying a not insignificant premium compared to U.S. PS5 prices, where the standard PS5 retails at $500 and the PS5 Digital Edition goes for $400.
Since its release in the fall of 2020, Sony claims it has sold 7.8 million PS5s, and in the U.S., market research group NPD recently crowned the PS5 as the fastest-selling console in U.S. history. So while supply has been tight, Sony’s real problem is that demand has been so astronomically high (due in no small part to the pandemic) that even while selling a record number of consoles, PS5s are still hard to come by.
Thankfully, back in February during an interview with the Financial Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said that Sony expects PS5 supply “will get better every month throughout 2021" with PS5 stock eventually stabilizing sometime during the second half of the year.
Furthermore, with Sony hoping to sell more than 14 million PS5's between now and the end of its next fiscal year in March 2022, it seems Sony remains rather confident it can continue increasing PS5 supply in the midst of a global chip crunch, which continues to plague a wide range of devices including CPUs, GPUs, automotive chips, and more.
That said, with China only having recently legalized the sale of game consoles back in 2014, demand for the PS5 in China might not be quite as high as one would expect from a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion people. Currently, the Nintendo Switch is the most popular console in China, while Microsoft still hasn’t announced official sales info for the Xbox Series S/X in China despite reports claiming that Microsoft was expected to obtain proper sales approval for its new consoles back near the end of 2020.