Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

PS5: Sony seeing 'very considerable' demand for new console ahead of launch

The latest Sony device is set to launch on November 12

Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in November. Courtesy Sony
Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in November. Courtesy Sony

Sony Corp is seeing "very considerable" demand for its PlayStation 5 console via pre-orders, its gaming chief said on Wednesday, as users rush to secure the next-generation device ahead of its November 12 launch.

The Japanese tech company pre-sold as many PS5 consoles in the first 12 hours in the United States as in the first 12 weeks for its predecessor PlayStation 4 device, Jim Ryan, chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an interview.

It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one

Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive

"The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable," Ryan said.

Sony, which went on to sell more than 100 million PS4 units, aims to persuade its user base to upgrade to its new device to play titles like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales with enhanced graphics, sound and feedback via a new controller.

The launch comes amidst the Covid-19 pandemic that has boosted gaming companies' revenue but also disrupted retail networks, games development and manufacturing supply chains around the world.

"It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one," said Ryan, adding the company is "working as hard as we ever can" to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season.

Sony has built a network of in-house studios producing exclusive titles, including Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch Productions, to fend off rivals including Microsoft's Xbox and new entrants.

Sony will grow its studio capability organically, Ryan said, adding: "where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A that might be possible."

Analysts question how far the expansion in gaming driven by stuck-at-home consumers will continue longer term, with Ryan saying it will be up to Sony to drive that engagement.

"We're definitely looking upwards and thinking that we can do better than we thought we could," Ryan said.

Sony's shares have gained 45 per cent since March lows. Its shares climbed as much as 1.4 per cent on Wednesday.

Updated: October 28, 2020 12:17 PM

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