Just three days shy of the PlayStation 4's seven-year anniversary in the U.S. and Canada, comes Sony's next gaming platform, unsurprisingly dubbed the PlayStation 5.
The new product, which is only available online today in North America due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, was largely sold out on various retailers' websites, including Sony's own store. However, Eric Lempel, senior vice president and head of global marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment, had some words of comfort for customers who find themselves empty-handed on launch day.
"Restocking will happen on a regular basis," Lempel told Cheddar. "Ships are coming in. Planes are flying. Stock is coming in between now and the end of the year, and then certainly next year."
Touting the high demand for Sony's latest console and NPD Group data showing U.S. spending on video games reaching more than $11 billion in the third quarter this year, Lempel noted that the audience for games had vastly increased over the past decade. Along with a broader fan base, he says older gamers who grew up playing have likely been recruiting family members to join during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to success in sales.
"With the current events in the world, we've seen more people staying at home," Lempel said. "Naturally, gaming is a great option to kind of enjoy something with your friends and family and connect with people online during these times.
Expectations are also high as Sony's direct competitor in the space, Microsoft, intends to play catchup with its Xbox Series X and S consoles. In the previous generation, excitement around the PlayStation 4 was estimated to help nearly double the sales of both Microsoft's Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch, according to Forbes.
Lempel didn't speak directly about the competition Thursday, but he did emphasize that the two different PlayStation 5 models - Digital and Standard -- are identical in capability, with one just being an online-only system. Microsoft's Xbox Series X and the cheaper Series S have reported differences in terms of power.