KEY POINTS

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan says PS5's pre-order numbers are dwarfing the PS4's
  • Ryan says they are working to give every customer who pre-ordered their consoles at launch
  • A mini-boom in sales during the pandemic has helped pre-order numbers go up for PS5

The demand for the PlayStation 5 has exceeded Sony’s expectations, with the console recording impressive numbers in the first 12 hours of pre-orders being opened.

Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said in an interview with Reuters that the PS5 pre-orders Sony received in the first 12 hours in the U.S. exceeded the orders made during PlayStation 4's first 12 weeks on the market.

“The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable,” he said.

“It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one,” Ryan continued.

He added that the company is “working as hard as we ever can” to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season.

Over the course of its lifespan, the PlayStation 4 has sold over 100 million units. If these pre-order numbers are any indication, Sony could eventually surpass PS4's sales with the PS5.

Sony had encountered several issues during the PS5's early pre-order process. The company received complaints from customers when it opened pre-orders for the PS5 in September, with prospective buyers claiming that it was extremely difficult to order the new console.

PS5 is set to be launched in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea on Nov. 12. The next-gen console will be released to the rest of the world on Nov. 19. Meanwhile, rival Xbox Series X and the all-digital Xbox Series S from Microsoft will launch on Nov. 10.

Both Sony and Microsoft targeted the holiday season for their launches, though neither factored in a global pandemic into its plans. The pandemic ended up disrupting retail networks, the development of games and the manufacturing of supply chains globally.

There were concerns in September that there would be lower production numbers for the PS5, but Sony had denied the speculation.

Despite the pandemic (or perhaps because of it), the gaming industry appears to be experiencing a small boom, with games providing a means of escape from a situation nobody seems to be able to control outside of people’s homes. 

Games have also provided some means of social interaction, with titles like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout” and “Among Us” as prime examples.

Sony’s PlayStation-exclusive titles like “The Last of Us Part II” and “Ghost of Tsushima” have also proven to be massive hits amid the lockdown.

PlayStation 5 console Sony released this picture on June 11 of its upcoming PlayStation 5 console, without revealing pricing or a launch date. Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.