Why Is The PS4 Still Out of Stock?

Sony’s PS4 might have launched to great success, but since its November 15th debut the console has received no shortage of criticism. Ironically, people aren’t complaining about the console’s line up of launch titles or its controller – two complaints consoles usually see early on in their release. Instead, the PS4 is being blasted for simply not being available, at all.

Since launch, a user’s chances of getting a PS4 haven’t just been slim, they’ve been close to none. Stores flush with units for launch now don’t have a single unit to sell early adopters looking to pick up the next-generation gaming console. In fact, as this page on NowInStock shows, it’s become incredibly difficult to find a PS4 with or without bundled accessories and games too.

Naturally, would be buyers are beginning to ask why they can’t find the PS4 in stock. The answer appears to be a mix of both sales and strategy.

Sales

Best Buy Xbox One

To be clear, every launch of a video game console has brought shortages. When there’s something new and exciting coming, some users like to be the first on their block to have. They want to feel what it’s initially like and tell their friends about things they haven’t experienced yet.

They want to be among the first to try the latest hardware and give feedback to its makers and the public. For sure, this type of thinking is causing the PS4 shortage at some level. The PS4 is Sony’s first living room console revamp in six to seven years. That’s exciting and people are willing to pay to be among the first to experience it.

Clearly, the PS4’s low price tag when compared to Microsoft’s Xbox One is also contributing to the shortage. Users who just want a gaming machine could be choosing to snatch up the PS4 at $399 instead of the $499 Microsoft is charging for its system. That drives up demand, and leads to more console sales and more shortages.

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Strategy

Sony's PS4

Sony’s PS4

Though, most everyone wants to believe that it’s the PS4’s sales alone that are creating the shortage, it’s entirely possible that business decisions Sony made are coming back to haunt the PS4’s supply too.

Instead of focusing on a small set of specific launch countries, Sony launched the PS4 worldwide this holiday season. In fact, a post to Sony’s European PlayStation Blog pointed to the PS4 being available in 48 countries as of December 13th. While launching in all of those countries will certainly help the PS4 establish a foothold in markets where the Xbox One hasn’t arrived, like Asia, it seems they’ve also pushed the PS4 supply line about as far as it can go without creating stock shortages.

By comparison Microsoft’s Xbox One only launched in 13 countries last November. The console was scheduled to launch in more, however Microsoft pushed the Asian launch into the new year. Allegedly, this was so it could take more time to prepare the Kinect voice-enabled console for Asian languages. Regardless of why it happened, it did. To date Microsoft’s console has yet to come up against any real shortage issues. That’s true even though it managed to outsell the PS4 in the United States during the month of December.

We may never know true nature of the PS4’s shortage. However, we do know that Sony will need to take steps to improve PS4 availability soon. Not doing so could turn off legions of buyers who might be happy with simply paying an extra $100 for the Xbox One since it’s readily available.

Read: How to find a PS4 in Stock Online or in a Local Store

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PS4 buyers should use the online stock checking tools at Best Buy, Target and others before heading out to buy the console. It’s also a pretty good idea to keep checking at local GameStop locations for extra units.

Comments

  1. Brian says

    Sony is getting ready to release the PS4 in Japan. That’s why they aren’t making a lot more. Eventually stock will catch up everywhere. Just be patient. It’s not like there’s a lot of games on the PS4 or Xbone anyway.

    • Jake says

      So what you’re saying is that a mere 17 Billion dollar company has managed to outsell a 303 Billion dollar company through January 11 by 4.6 million consoles to 3.2 million? Wow. It sounds like the 303 Billion dollar company is grossly mismanaged.

      Not that it matters. Microsoft’s new CEO will most likely spin the Xbox segment off into a stand alone company so the shareholders at Microsoft can FINALLY see some gains. Microsoft stock has been pathetic over the past 10 years.

      • YouAreFlatOutWrong says

        You’re flat out pissed.

        Even if sony was outselling m$ two generations in a row, it still couldn’t catch up the deep pocket of m$. The 1B lost on RROD was nothing for a 300B level company, it would be a big deal for a 17B company level like sony. (thats why the fanboys made a big deal about it because they thought m$ = sony at financial level).

        • Batman says

          Lol. Good points, more like Sony is flat out piss poor. Both stocks are going down lately but Sony is going down faster.

          300 > 17

          Sometimes facts can be hurting if you see the bigger picture.

      • Guy Brohski says

        PS4 launched a week earlier in some territories so of course Sony will have a slight lead. When both consoles are released in all territories, then you can start talking. Xbone was the #1 selling console in Dec in the US, the first full month after it was available. Plus the Xbone is $100 more expensive, so there is more revenue there over PS4, per console.

    • David Bloor says

      ok xbox fanboy, i wouldnt take into account that 90% of microsofts money comes from gold partner investment and its operating system the “windows” series has dominated worldwide. 303billion from consoles alone, bitch please….

  2. lancelegstrong says

    You post a picture of Best Buy when I know for a fact that my local Best Buy has some in stock. There are also other Best Buys that have them in stock at this moment. Did you do ANY research or did you just decide to cut and paste from an article posted last week when there were none?

    • Mason Rieber says

      i completely agree…. I mean I dont know about my local best buy, the last time i went in there they had neither of the systems. However, the last time i went to wal-mart here they had both in stock and ive only heard about how “theyre never in stock” yet i went at night time to buy an xbox 360 game and its just sitting there… throughout the entire day….. so this whole availability thing is a load of crap

  3. Jed Arain says

    It’s worthy of note to state that even though Sony’s PS4 is out of stock literally everywhere, they still produce more PS4s per month than Microsoft does with their Xbox One (and the PS4 is STILL sold out… that says a lot, lol)! The Nintendo Wii was impossible to find for the first 6 months and was a great console that sold more than the PS3 and Xbox 360, unless I’m mistaken. Time will tell, but so far, Sony’s doing a bang-up job.

    • chris says

      The Xbox one actually sold more units in the united states than sony did but Sony has more units sold worldwide.

      • extermin8or says

        You are wrong, PS4 sold more in the opening month-november, xbox one sold more in USA in december but seeing as ps4 isn’t on shelves it’ out of stock it’s nonsense. Plus PS4′s overall UsA sales are either greater or even with Xbox one in usa and that’s te main deciding factor. Bit of simple maths will show you that…

      • Jake says

        Actually, Microsoft sold more units in December. Overall, Sony has sold more in the U.S. The latest report for the week of 1/5 – 1/11 shows Microsoft selling 75,000 in the U.S. and Sony at 74,000, but global sales for the same period at 106,000 for the XB1 and 184,000 for the PS4.

  4. chris says

    This is one of the reasons I decided to support Microsoft and buy an xbox one. Microsoft cared enough to make it actually available for purchase for people who wanted one over the holiday. Patience is one thing but being almost into February and still not being able to get your hands on a Ps4 is ridiculous. All in all I’m happy Sony failed in making the PS4 readily available to US markets because I wouldn’t have bought an Xbox One but now that I have I’m really glad for doing so and love it.

  5. Tim says

    The demand for the PS4 is massive worldwide, I live in the UK and it is very difficult to get a PS4 here even weeks after launch, the PS4 gets sold out within minutes whenever a shop gets any stock. Huge demand.

    • Matt says

      The PS4 is non-existent in Australia. Everywhere is sold out and a pre-order is required to secure a system in the next shipment. At this stage, unless you pre-order, you may be waiting until March until they’re freely available in stores.

    • extermin8or says

      Yeah it’s well over half million sold in uk, on it’s way to a million when you consider our population vs somewhere like the USA’s and their sales… that’s lot

  6. Mr. Controversy says

    The only reason I buy sony is because all of my friends are too blind to realize Microsoft has far better exclusives, unfortunately I’m one of the minority that still tries things before blurting out bad comments about them. I owned ps3 and 360 for a number of years and felt retarded whenever I got on ps3 for multiplayer knowing the 360 had dlc before us, but my friends wouldn’t try 360. This is the problem, a majority of people want to make snarky comments about Microsoft before even trying it. One of the funniest things I heard lately is that all the sony fanboys now have to buy ps plus on ps4 lol

    • Mason Rieber says

      yeah its really simple… there is no console wars it comes down to 4 categories (2 of which are the types of games)…. the 4 main reasons people choose which console (not including price) is because of the type…. mmorpg and campaign based games are better on the ps3 / ps4…. but anything dealing with online is significantly better on xbox 360 / xbox one… there is no arguing that its simply a fact. The only other two big things are what your friends have and the general appeal…. the xbox one will win the general appeal category in the long run without a doubt, i haven’t heard a single negative thing about the xbox one’s kinect from people who actually own it (and no im not just referring to the MS “fanboys” im referring to their girlfriends and spouses who like the system and the kinect is the main reason)….. but if youre going to be a gamer that likes online services then the xbox one is for you and if you dont like online gaming then get a ps4 its that simple

      • Stu says

        The 360 was a far better online machine than the PS3, but that has been turned on its head this gen.

        PS4 is far slicker to navigate and prepare for online play, the party system is slick, download speeds are supper quick, game uploads work in the background etc. In short, the PS4 is the natural successor to the 360, the Xbox One has gone off in a multimedia direction not too dissimilar to the PS3, and it’s gamer focus is suffering for that.

  7. Truth says

    Because $0N¥ is a pauperbrand that wanted too much and can’t deliver to 52 countries. $0N¥ PauperStation Foul = lies, overhype and underdeliver.
    MS made a smarter move releasing in just 13.

  8. chris says

    I was an Xbox devotee for nearly a decade. Made the switch to PS4 and found the console in stock at Wal-Mart.

    PS4…

    1. Cheaper price (fact).
    2. Significantly more powerful hardware (fact).
    3. Some of the most highly regarded game studios in the industry (fact).
    4. More exclusive games coming (fact).
    5. Better exclusives (opinion).
    6. Can run most multi-plat games at higher native resolutions than Xbox One (fact).
    7. Remote play (fact).
    8. PlayStation Now game streaming coming this Summer (fact).
    10. Can provide most of the entertainment features of the Xbox one with software updates (fact).
    11. Can turn every pair of standard wired headphones into wireless headphones using the DS4 controller.
    12. Can live stream games (fact).
    13. Multiplayer gameplay is just as good as Xbox Live (opinion).

    I have no complaints with my PS4 or PSN. Everything is running smoothly, and I’m having a great time.

    • Guy Brohski says

      #2 should say “slightly more powerful hardware”. By the end of the generation you won’t even notice a difference in graphics between the two systems, other than minor differences nobody cares about. Similar to last gen’s “PS3 vs Xbox 360″ multiplat situation. Even though PS3 was supposed to be more powerful than Xbox360, look what happened when PS3 launched. It had the decent Resistance while Xbox360 had the stunning Gears of War which looked better than anything on PS3 at the time.

      • Stu says

        PS3 used bespoke hardware that took years for devs to understand.

        Both PS4 and Xbox One use X86 PC based hardware, it’s easy to program for, and like for like, the PS4 will always have that 30%-40% power advantage.

  9. Realist says

    I don’t know if the author is aware but the PS4 isn’t available “worldwide” yet. It was released in North America first in November then Europe in December and the Asia release isn’t until February.

  10. Stu says

    At the end of 2013, PS4 had sold 4.2m vs 3m Xbox Ones.

    Microsoft chose to stuff the channels in NA, with the result they won the NPD’s in December, but only by 50k. Xbox Ones are now in abundant supply, sat on shelves, Xbox One has also lost valuable market share other regions like Europe and Asia. In the UK, Microsofts second biggest market, PS4 has now taken a decisive lead and is accelerating away.

    This story implies PS4′s have not been available in NA since launch, simply because they are difficult to come by. The reality is Sony has supplied, and sold, more PS4′s to NA than Microsoft Xbox Ones, it just so happens demand is so great for PS4, stock is sold out instantly.

    The situation is the same in the rest of the world, but to an even more extreme level, with some European countries having pre-orders up until March and April.

    In addition, Sony has still yet to release in Japan, a region that will add an extra 10m or more sales to the PS4 lifetime total, and which Microsoft has near enough abandoned.

    As for some of the other comments regarding the respective size of Microsoft and Sony, that should be cause for concern for Xbox loyalist. Microsoft generate their major profits from Office and other industry services, Xbox, like Windows phones and Surface, is a play to get in on these markets. However they have all been major financial drains, fact is Microsoft don’t need the hassle, hence prospective CEO’s have floated the idea of dropping them.

    At Sony, gaming is becoming an ever more important part of the company, and with Playstation Now, the brand has the potential to offer a Playstation service to all Sony branded, and third party, hardware.

    Finally, you do need to question the mental intellect of someone who uses terms like ‘ PauperStation Foul’. The PS4 is a desirable piece of hardware, sleek and the most powerful games console on the market. That’s how you win a console generation, not by putting out expensive, unfocused hardware with features the public do not want, Sony sis that with the PS3, now Microsoft are doing the same with the Kinect hobbled Xbox One.

  11. Shad says

    Guy Brohski if you really think that PS4 is selling more because it launched a week earlier in some territories you’re an idiot, xbox has had more stock than PS4 and they still fail to sell more, in fact, the 360 had one year lead over PS3 and it wasn’t a fair comparison at all but then the PS3 outsold xbox.

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