PlayStation 4

Sony announced overnight that it expects to sell five million PlayStation 4 consoles globally by the end of March, but sources close to industry publication MCV suggest that its UK branch is desperate to secure more stock after underestimating how popular the platform would prove.

According to the site, the current number of units believed to be on their way to the nation are unlikely to satisfy demand, with the company concerned that potential consumers may defect to the Xbox One if ample stock isn’t readily available this year. The shortage is reportedly so bad that the system may still be hard to find up to four months after its initial release.

The manufacturer’s already turned off guaranteed day one orders in an effort to limit disappointment. It’s also promised that some stock will be available on store shelves at launch, though we suspect that you’re going to have to brave your way through some heated scuffles to secure a wild machine.

Despite PlayStation’s dominance across much of Europe, the UK very much remains a swing territory for Sony, with the Xbox 360 having commanded a substantial lead over the PlayStation 3 for much of this generation. As a consequence, the company will be eager to ensure that Microsoft’s machine doesn’t pull out ahead again.

Speaking with MCV back at GamesCom, the brand’s UK chief explained that the company is “very excited” about the PS4, but that it must manage expectations as much as possible moving forwards. “It's pretty inevitable that demand will outstrip supply,” he said. “It’s a good problem to have, but also a tricky one.”

Is your pre-order already safely secured, or have you decided to wait until the launch furore dies down before picking up your console? Let us know in the comments section below.