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The Sony Group warned a group of analysts that PlayStation 5 will still be in short supply until 2022, indicating that the company’s ability to increase its sales target for its latest console will be limited.

When the Japanese conglomerate reported its financial results at the end of April, it said that as of March 31, the game console had sold 7.8 million units, and its goal was to sell at least 1.8 million units in the current fiscal year. This will keep it in sync with the development trajectory of the popular PlayStation 4, which has sold more than 115.9 million units to date.

In a briefing following the release of these results, Sony told analysts that keeping up with strong demand is a challenge. Since its launch in November, PS5 has been difficult to find inventory, partly because of the shortage of components such as semiconductors, and the company has not given an official estimate of when the supply is expected to be normal.

“I don’t think this year’s demand will calm down. Even if we buy more equipment and produce more PlayStation 5 next year, our supply will not be able to keep up with demand,” several chief financial officers attended the meeting and asked not to be named. The source said that Toshihiko Hiroki said in the briefing because it was not public.

A Sony spokesperson declined to comment.

Sony said it will repurchase up to 200 billion yen (approximately 13.9 billion rupees) of its own stock after the company reported that its March quarter profit was lower than analysts expected. The company predicts that operating profit will fall by about 4% this fiscal year, but analysts have been weighing whether the company can exceed conservative expectations with the help of strong demand for new consoles and games.

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Since the April 28 earnings report, the stock has fallen by about 8%, after the stock had risen 75% in the previous year.

Totoki told analysts that Sony needs to increase production as soon as possible and that there are game consoles on store shelves. Regardless of the COVID-19 situation, demand will remain high, and the chief financial officer assured analysts that they remain vigilant regarding Sony’s ability to take full advantage of family entertainment activities triggered by lock-in and emergency orders.

He said: “We have sold more than 100 million PlayStation 4. Considering our market share and reputation, I can’t imagine that demand will drop easily.”

However, the company’s latest earnings report still shows that home demand is stabilizing. Sony said that as of January to March, PlayStation Network’s monthly active users dropped from 11 million in the previous quarter to 109 million, and sales of complete games have also fallen from the same period last year.

Rival Nintendo warned last week that a shortage of parts could affect production. As of March 2022, its official goal is to sell 25.5 million game consoles, a slight decrease from the previous year. But according to Bloomberg News, internally, Nintendo’s management is said to be shooting 28 to 29 million game consoles.

©2021 Bloomberg (Bloomberg LP)

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...