Here's a thing: the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation VR are severely supply constrained. While the former is readily available in parts of North America, it's almost entirely sold out across Europe and Asia. And as for the platform holder's futuristic facemask, you've barely been able to buy one of those anywhere since it launched in October last year.
We're not supply chain experts so we're not going to propose to be; we can't even begin to imagine how challenging it is to predict how much product needs manufacturing, and then getting it into stores just in time so that there's a steady stream of stock without excessive storage costs or shortages. But ignoring the obvious difficulties, let's consider things from a more simplistic viewpoint: people want the latest PlayStation products and they can't buy them.
Nintendo is infamous for creating artificial demand by chokeholding supply, but we don't think that's what Sony is doing here – it's just got things wrong. Now, while we accept that the production process behind PlayStation VR is probably very complex – there are a lot of different parts and it's a brand new product – there's no excuse for the shortage of PS4 Pro consoles.
Whatever the reason, the outcome is simple: patience will eventually run thin. Resident Evil 7 launched this week, a tentpole PlayStation VR game, but anyone looking to bite the bullet on a headset will find themselves utterly unable to unless they pay a premium on auction websites. Many wondered whether there'd be enough demand to grow the virtual reality install base, but thus far it's Sony and Sony alone that's stunting the peripheral's adoption.
Meanwhile, flagship PS4 Pro title Horizon: Zero Dawn scored a bundle announcement this week, but the title will be shipping with a PS4 Slim rather than Sony's supercharged system. Why? The answer's obvious: it hasn't got enough consoles in the channel to create bundles. It's all a bit of a bummer, isn't it? These devices have launched and they're good, but they're unavailable.
And they're not the only two products that the manufacturer has misjudged. PlayStation Move has only just recently received new stock, with the firm failing to get enough wands into stores for PlayStation VR early adopters. Even games like Gravity Rush Remastered are now being sold for three digit figures because the platform holder failed to print enough copies. Why is the company suddenly undershipping all of its products?
We're not sure, but it needs to sort out these supply issues fast. As we mentioned in another recent article, we reckon that the company's cut back on PlayStation VR and PS4 Pro promotion while it sorts out its supply chain – but surely there'll come a point where interest will wane in these products if it doesn't start to sate the demand and soon?
Have you been struggling to find Sony's more recent hardware products of late? Why do you think the PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR are so hard to find? Search every shop in your nearest city for stock in the comments section below.