Ryan told Nikkei that PlayStation has requested to increase production on the semiconductors used in the PlayStation 5. The COVID-19 pandemic and a trade war with China started by the Trump administration have dramatically impacted the ability of chip manufacturers to meet production goals, with demand spiking sharply as more people began to shift to a work-from-home setting in early 2020.
“There are several reasons why PS5 was hard to come by,” Ryan said. “Supply under the new coronavirus was very complicated, and we had to limit distribution to online. The supply and demand for semiconductors is also tight worldwide. We are asking our suppliers to allow us to increase production, which will flow into the market this year.”
The Semiconductor Industry Association said last December that chip sales would grow 8.4% in 2021 from 2020’s total of $433 billion.
PlayStation and SIE are far from the only company desperately trying to catch up with demand for semiconductor-based tech. Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters that “semiconductors are very tight,” and that Apple has struggled to keep up with demand for iPhones.
Both Sony and Microsoft rely on AMD’s line of chips to power their consoles, but AMD CEO Lisa Su has said the company expects chip shortages to persist throughout the first half of 2021. The Biden administration pledged to review the supply chain responsible for chip shortages back in February.