Did Sony underestimate demand?

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#1 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Maybe this is just me talking as someone trying to track down a PS4 before X-mad, but is it possible that maybe SONY botched this launch as far as supply goes. I would think they'd want as many units on shelves as possible, but I every store I go to is sold out and says they probably aren't getting anymore before Christmas. I'm seeing xbones in the wild, but not PS4s.

I might be ps4-less at Christmas this year? Even Amazon is selling out right away.

#2 Edited by demonknightinuyasha (467 posts) -

there are never enough consoles at launch. Sony wanted to do a 1 million unit launch back in the PS2 days but had to cut it in half because of production issues. I'm amazed that Sony and Microsoft managed to actually pull it off this time (since for 360 and PS3 they did not pull it off as well as far as I know).

#3 Posted by Hunkulese (2785 posts) -

They've sold over two million. They take time to manufacture. They do have as many units on shelves as possible.

#4 Edited by ILikePopCans (760 posts) -

Supply and demand bla bla bla

Yeah, it is the fact that Sony has like 3 months to make the consoles before release which means only a couple million units in November.

#5 Edited by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

If by underestimate you mean were physically impossible to manufacturer enough units in the such short time then yes, they underestimated demand.

#6 Posted by The_Nubster (2255 posts) -

Not so much underestimated as could not produce. it's not like they're pumping these things out a year before production; the finalized parts only have a relatively short amount of time to get made before they have to ship out.

As for trying to get one before Christmas, you're out of luck unless you've pre-ordered or are willing to pay some crazy person on the internet way too much money.

#7 Posted by TheGorilla (230 posts) -

The number of units they've gotten out there is actually incredible. They had massive supply this time and even bigger demand. It simply isn't possible to meet demand at launch.

#8 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Yeah, I guess. Just really wanted one :( Does Amazon let me purchase it at regular price, then they'll just ship it as soon as it's available?

#9 Posted by Microshock (341 posts) -

It's not like the Wii, at least. You can tell by ebay prices that demand is almost being met.

#10 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

PS4's aren't crackers. They take a fuckload of time to make, assemble, package and distribute. There can also be other various factors like component-shortages etc.

What MS and Sony have done for this launch is pretty damn impressive compared to previous gens.

#11 Edited by BenderUnit22 (1510 posts) -

As people have been saying, both Sony and MIcrosoft have been doing a remarkable job with their respective launches. They crushed previous console launches, it's just that demand is rather high after such a long console generation, plus the new consoles are relatively cheap compared to last time (considering inflation, etc.)

I'd personally buy a PS4, if you happend to come across one in a store, but judging from online pre-order lists for upcoming shipments, I'd probably have to walk into a store right after a new shipment arrived.

#12 Posted by The_Nubster (2255 posts) -

Yeah, I guess. Just really wanted one :( Does Amazon let me purchase it at regular price, then they'll just ship it as soon as it's available?

Yeah, that's my understanding. They'll probably get another shipment for the new year.

#13 Edited by Sergio (2160 posts) -

I don't think they underestimated demand. They saw what the pre-orders were like, so they could estimate what kind of demand they were going to have. There's only so many units they can manufacture.

#14 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3882 posts) -

@hunkulese said:

They've sold over two million. They take time to manufacture. They do have as many units on shelves as possible.

Yep. I've been impressed with the numbers both consoles have managed to get out there already.

#15 Edited by BawlZINmotion (714 posts) -

@raven_sword said:

Maybe this is just me talking as someone trying to track down a PS4 before X-mad, but is it possible that maybe SONY botched this launch as far as supply goes. I would think they'd want as many units on shelves as possible, but I every store I go to is sold out and says they probably aren't getting anymore before Christmas. I'm seeing xbones in the wild, but not PS4s.

I might be ps4-less at Christmas this year? Even Amazon is selling out right away.

You obviously weren't around for the PS2 launch, or most console launches, otherwise you wouldn't be writing this.

#16 Posted by Zella (773 posts) -

I doubt it, in fact I am willing to bet they intentionally understocked retailers. Apple does the same thing with their products. It makes the product seem more popular than it is when it is sold out everywhere. The PS4 will appear to be more popular than the Xbone as, atleast where I live, there is a healthy amount of Xbones to buy when PS4s are sold out. Once the initial competition between the two consoles finished after launch the next shipments should still be pretty heavy.

Sony should have had a strong idea of what the market would look like so I doubt that they didn't expect the demand. Didn't they claim their goal was to sell 3 million units by the end of the year? That wouldn't say if they weren't ready for that kind of demand.

#17 Posted by White (1377 posts) -

Try getting it from a local store. Amazon would be difficult just cause of the traffic it gets.

#18 Edited by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Getting it from a local store is tough since I have no clue when they get them in.

#19 Edited by wardcleaver (173 posts) -

To answer your question, yes they did.

#20 Posted by hermes (1534 posts) -

So far, it seems like Sony is physically impossible to produce at the rate they are selling. Not that they underestimated the demand, just that they didn't have enough time.

It is different to other releases that have produced in shortage to increase desirability.

#21 Edited by JayEH (535 posts) -

More like they just can't meet demand with supply.

#22 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3882 posts) -

Do you guys understand how production works? Hardware doesn't come out of thin air. It takes time and resources to manufacture. They have as many consoles out as they can manage.

#23 Posted by Aviar (446 posts) -

I think they've tried to do everything the can here in the US to ship as many as possible. The initial release was only North America (US and Canada), on November 15th which is something, as far as I know, they have never done before.

I keep seeing on twitter and g+ that some places are getting shipments, but as fast as they are getting them in, they are selling out. I heard that amazon had 12,000 last week made available to them and they sold out in less then 30 minutes.

This is probably due to one, being the holidays. Everyone wants one for X-mas now. Two, this was probably the longest amount of time in between console releases so there was a pent up demand from gamers for both Xbox-One and the PS4.

All I can suggest is to watch alot of the different social media sites and try to get one when one becomes available.

Good luck, and hopefully you get one soon!

#24 Posted by phantomzxro (1578 posts) -

I think both have released a crap ton of systems already and it will take time to restock. Also Sony is releasing in more areas and i believe you will see them restock bit by bit so keep you eyes open as i remember amazon being in stock for both Xbox and PlayStation for a few hours recently.

#25 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Best buy said they're getting some in on the 23rd, so I'll just have to be there early and hope for the best. I honestly refuse to pay extortion prices from third party sellers on Amazon.

#26 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Ok, I have the best mom ever. She was able to find one at target. YAY! :D now I'm have to wait till Christmas :(

I was shocked she found one.

#27 Edited by Nictel (2429 posts) -

They might have hit some trouble in production, at least here (Netherlands) the second wave of PS4s would first arrive the 7th, then the 27th and now somewhere early 2014.. But great for you that your mom managed to track one down! :D

#28 Edited by wardcleaver (173 posts) -

People are trying to spin this into something that it is not.

It is simple, there is currently a shortage of PS4 systems (demand is greater than supply). Therefore, Sony underestimated demand, or we wouldn't be having this discussion.

#29 Posted by notdavid (840 posts) -

I work at a retailer. We've only received 2 shipments of PS4s total, only around 6 consoles per shipment. We receive Xbox Ones weekly. I'm in a smallish city, but the PS4s that we're getting are not nearly enough to cover demand.

#30 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

The number of units they've gotten out there is actually incredible. They had massive supply this time and even bigger demand. It simply isn't possible to meet demand at launch.

It is if you're the Wii U.

Ohmy.

#31 Posted by Marokai (3060 posts) -

I think what people tend to forget about Sony is that they play the worldwide game, while Microsoft is focusing heavily on their two primary markets (US and UK). Sony's sprinking Ps4 releases around the world all throughout December, they're out in significantly more markets than the XB1 already, and they have to prepare for their Japan launch in February. Microsoft, meanwhile, is obsessively focused on topping the American market all all costs. Thus, you end up seeing restricted supply from Sony, in comparison to Microsoft, because they're trying to cover their bases all over the world.

#32 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@marokai said:

I think what people tend to forget about Sony is that they play the worldwide game, while Microsoft is focusing heavily on their two primary markets (US and UK). Sony's sprinking Ps4 releases around the world all throughout December, they're out in significantly more markets than the XB1 already, and they have to prepare for their Japan launch in February. Microsoft, meanwhile, is obsessively focused on topping the American market all all costs. Thus, you end up seeing restricted supply from Sony, in comparison to Microsoft, because they're trying to cover their bases all over the world.

I'm pretty sure Microsoft just looked at the soft preorder numbers in many a territory and simply abandoned them for the time being. Chose your battles, I guess. Seeing how they're kinda neck on neck in the US, I guess that's paid off for them.

I don't think it's a winning strategy overall. The longer they wait to enter markets Sony's already in, the more likely it'll hurt their software attachment rates down the line, as well as their total install base. Rumor has it, that Xbox One will release in Fall 2014 in all those markets it has left-out. They'll be granting Sony a year's head start. I guess they've written quite a few territories off already, in terms of trying to get market leadership, respectively gaining any marketshare whatsoever. That battle has been lost from pretty much the on-set. They've resigned themselves to getting what they'll get, and just try and make the best possible argument on the games and services side, rather than with marketing.

Sony's just selling its PS4s through as they come in everywhere, and as far as we know, they're shipping tons of boxes. They're shooting to sell 5 million boxes by Spring 2014, and how they're selling out, it looks like they'll hit that target. They're selling every box they're able to make.

#33 Posted by Winternet (8025 posts) -

It's usually like this. They make one batch for launch and another one for Christmas. I'm sure that even in 2014, January/February may have a dead zone of supply in there.

#34 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

It's usually like this. They make one batch for launch and another one for Christmas. I'm sure that even in 2014, January/February may have a dead zone of supply in there.

I don't think the assembly lines at Foxxcon ever sleep. They're making these things 24/7/365.

#35 Edited by Demoskinos (15009 posts) -

@raven_sword: Im not sure you realize how big of a logistic miracle it is that they had 1 million consoles for just north America. Remember how hot the Wii was? They only did 600,000 the 360 only did 350k. One million consoles is a huge deal for 24 hours. Supply has started to trickle out in small shipments now to larger retailers.

Also, grats on getting one.

#36 Edited by flippyandnod (398 posts) -

Botched? This is how launches work.

It doesn't make sense to gear up to make 4M of these per month, because over its lifetime it will rarely sell at that rate. So instead you gear up to make 1M a month and then just start early and rack up the units for launch.

This is limited by how early you can really start. You can't begin making units until the design is finalized and parts available and that's not going to happen more than a few months early, because you don't want the unit to be a year out of date on the first day it is available to the public.

Sony took their best guess on what level to ramp up to and so far it doesn't seem that bad to me. The shortage levels are normal for a successful launch and it isn't as bad as the PS2 launch or Wii launch so far.

#37 Posted by Winternet (8025 posts) -

@seppli said:

@winternet said:

It's usually like this. They make one batch for launch and another one for Christmas. I'm sure that even in 2014, January/February may have a dead zone of supply in there.

I don't think the assembly lines at Foxxcon ever sleep. They're making these things 24/7/365.

But they end up being distributed in bulk, it's not like they make one and go "ok, send this one to the Best Buy on Laveen, Phoenix, Arizona."

#38 Posted by shinjin977 (785 posts) -

Around 12,000+ PS4s were put up on amazon a couple of days ago, with out warning or advertisement. The buy button just suddenly became clickable. It sold out in 27 min, again without ads or any emails going out to tell people. They didn't underestimate demand (gamers) but I think they did underestimate public interest. I don't think any body foresaw the traction ps4 would have coming into Christmas before e3. Right now ps4 is #9 on google popular search.

#39 Edited by freakin9 (1151 posts) -

Companies sometimes limit product as the buzz generated from people desperately searching for consoles can be a boon for business. Though there's also no guarantee on the level of success a product has, so it's better to make people wait(they'll likely buy it later anyways) than risk the potential bad press that is fully stocked shelves.

Also, a company doesn't need to generate per month the amount of units a launch needs, so there's no point in increasing the amount of factories, or production level of the factories you already have just for that first month spike in demand. You'll lose a lot of money in the long run if you do that.

#40 Posted by Marcsman (3217 posts) -

No problem getting two of them. You just got to really want it.

#41 Posted by ripelivejam (4265 posts) -

is the sky blue?

#42 Posted by TheHBK (5506 posts) -

I think they did because both Sony and MS had a similar amount of time to launch given they were a week apart and MS had to make some big changes on the fly. Faster GPU speed and changes to the DRM. I have seen Xbox Ones come back on sale sell out then come back on sale after another shipment a few times now. Nothing like that with the PS4. It is almost as if they didn't put out any more after launch.

#43 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

In 6 months they will be collecting dust on store shelves everywhere, but for now they are pumping them out as fast as possible. I remember reading a few of the CEOs even turned down their free units just so they could go out to shelves so one more person could get it for christmas. Which, besides the obvious marketing headlines that gets them, leads me to believe they are doing what they can to get them out.

Outside of people that just like buying new tech because it's new I honestly have no idea why anyone would want these new consoles. There's nothing on them worth playing right now.

#44 Edited by cyberbloke (56 posts) -

I know conspiracy theories are fun, but there is no way either Sony or Microsoft would intentionally restrict supply.

They are both launching at the same time, and of there is a clear leader it could go badly for the other side.

Shortages could drive purchasers to the competition, including the Wii U.

#45 Posted by DystopiaX (5334 posts) -

It's like one of the if not the fastest selling consoles ever. They didn't underestimate demand, they simply couldn't keep up with it.

#46 Posted by AlexGBRO (305 posts) -

They are in 48 countries around the world i think they knew but are confident that in 2014 the production will keep pace with demand

#47 Edited by James_ex_machina (905 posts) -

I agree with most of the posts, its a matter of production catching up to speed and to the demand. Also you can never overlook the idea that when something is hard to come by the demand goes up. If people see a product is always well stocked they can put off a purchase knowing it will be there.

#48 Posted by Humanity (9579 posts) -

Sony decided on a date for which they could not realistically meet the demand. So faced with either selling out their stock and creating a shortage on the market, or waiting until they could produce enough units where a shortage wouldn't realistically occur they did what every profit inclined company would do and went into sales as soon as humanly possible - factory output numbers be damned.

Online
#49 Posted by wardcleaver (173 posts) -

I know conspiracy theories are fun, but there is no way either Sony or Microsoft would intentionally restrict supply.

They are both launching at the same time, and of there is a clear leader it could go badly for the other side.

Shortages could drive purchasers to the competition, including the Wii U.

Yes, I agree. It is bad business not to have items that people want to purchase in stock, especially when alternatives are available, and at a much cheaper price.

Sony and MS clearly underestimated demand. You would think with all the legions of market researchers that both companies utilize, they would do a slightly better job of predicting demand. Still, I have a feeling that it has to be part science, part black arts.

#50 Posted by flippyandnod (398 posts) -

PS4s are available on Amazon right now. Unbundled.

Maybe more looking and less second guessing is in order?

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