Sony slashes PS5 sales forecast due to chip shortage, supply chain disruptions

Sony's Gaming & Network Services segment revenue for fiscal year 2021 is expected to drop by 170 billion yen, or 6%, to 2.73 trillion yen

Sony has revised its fiscal year 2021 sales outlook for the PlayStation 5 as the company struggles to keep up with customer demand due to the impact of the semiconductor chip shortage and global supply chain disruptions.

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Sony anticipates the popular gaming console will ship a total of 11.5 million units during fiscal year 2021, down from previous guidance of 14.8 million units. As a result, full-year revenue for its Game & Network Services segment is expected to drop by 170 billion yen, or 6%, to 2.73 trillion yen. 

"Limitations on the supply of components are expected to continue going forward, but we are continuing to exert every effort to meet the strong demand for PS5," Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said on the company's earnings call Wednesday. He added that the company expects to play "catch-up" in the short term, noting that it is working closely with its partners that supply components.  

PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5  (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

As of Dec. 31, the PS5 has surpassed 17.3 million shipped units since its launch in November 2020, compared to 20.2 million PS4 units sold during the same time frame. The company sold a total of 3.9 million PS5 consoles in its third quarter, down from 4.5 million during the same period a year ago. 

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The revised forecast comes as Sony is facing growing competition from Microsoft, which recently announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023. Days after the announcement, Sony said it would acquire Destiny and Halo developer Bungie for $3.6 billion

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Sony isn't the only gaming giant feeling the pain from the chip shortage and supply chain disruptions. On Wednesday, Nintendo cut its Switch console sales forecast from 24 million to 23 million units due to similar challenges with semiconductors and shipping delays. The company sold 18.95 million Switch consoles over the past nine months, down 21% year over year. 

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Total third-quarter revenue for Sony's gaming division came in at 813.3 billion yen, an 8% decline year over year. Meanwhile, the company's movie division saw revenue surge 141% year over year to $461.2 billion yen, and its image sensor division's sales rose 22% year over year to 57.8 billion yen.