Sony’s Jack Tretton discusses the company’s plans to meet consumer demand for the PS4, and touches upon how fast the consoles are selling out.
During the most recent PS Blogcast, Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Jack Tretton joined the crew for a discussion on the PlayStation 4.
Throughout the podcast, Tretton addressed the current demand for Sony’s next-gen console and how the company plans to meet it. To date, the PlayStation 4 has seen the most prolific console launch in history, with more than 2.1 million units sold across the globe.
A little under half of that number was sold in the first 24-hours in North America alone.
To further illustrate the exceedingly high demand, Tretton delivered an interesting tidbit that caught our attention: according to the SCEA CEO, online retailer Amazon sold 12,000 PS4’s in the span of 27 minutes.
With numbers like these, Sony has taken the lead of the next-gen market in terms of unit sales, but for every one person with a console, there are many more looking to attain one. The PS4 has been sold out across countless retailers across the world, and Tretton acknowledges the demand by assuring that Sony is doing everything it can to re-stock shelves–something we’ve heard from Sony UK exec Fergal Gara.
Tretton also details how the current gap of console availability has taken place, explaining that it took Sony “months and months” of preparation to ready the PS4 shipments for its Nov. 15 launch:
[Tretton gives a hypothetical query to illustrate his point] ‘You sold a million units in one day on Nov. 15th, so where’s the next million units for Nov. 16th?’
“It took us months to accumulate those million units, to have them ready for [the launch]. Once those are all sold, you know, we’re producing as many as we can on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and bringing them to market to try to satisfy demand.
“But for the launch, we had multiple months of production time leading up to making the first unit available and now they’re going out the door as quickly as they come in.
“I heard we made 12,000 [PS4's] available to Amazon last week and they went out in 27 minutes. So when you can sell 12,000 in 27 minutes, it takes some big numbers to satisfy the demand.”
The exec continues onward, revealing that creating an “artificial shortage to spike demand” is counter-productive to Sony as there are plenty of other things for consumers to buy during the holidays.
“[Tretton's response to the query "Where are we at with the supply situation?"]
“Do you create an artificial shortage because you want there to be a feeding frenzy? No, you don’t. You have competition out there and there are lots of things that people can spend their money on–especially during the holidays.
“The holidays only come around once a year, so that’s really when you want to take advantage of the market opportunities.
“So we manufactured every unit we could get our hands on, and the good news is that it was far and away the largest launch in console history–not just PlayStation history but gaming history.
“So we put a ton of machines out there–there are over 2.1 million now on a worldwide basis. But we are a global company, and we’re in over 32 countries now so there’s a lot of mouths to feed–alot of people want to get a console.”
The CEO also indicates that additional stock will be shipped between now and the holidays, and units will be made more readily available post-Christmas:
“The numbers are really good, but they’re clearly very short of demand. There’s additional products [PS4's] coming into the market between now and the holidays. Our fiscal year ends on March 31st and they’ll be great supplies coming in post-Christmas.”
The executive also revealed that he doesn’t have a PlayStation 4, because he wants to give consumers every opportunity possible to get their own console:
“It really breaks my heart when someone has $400 and wants a PS4 and we can’t sell them one. It’s to the point where I don’t even have one–I just tell them ‘no, go sell it!'”
Jack Tretton’s words definitely put the shortage of PS4’s into perspective, illustrating certain scenarios and factors that have contributed to the lack of stock across global retailers.
Tretton’s words may also be a bit disconcerting to some, especially when focusing on his indication that there will be a surge of units post-Christmas, as Sony has given their first great push during the console’s launch. The company does need time to prepare another wave, but this might not give solace to those who have been looking to pick up a PS4 since they were announced in February.
Given time, Sony will no-doubt be able to quell the insatiable demand for units across its 32-country market, but for now consumers will have to stay attentive to their local stores and online promotions.
Fortunately retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have had replenishments of stock, giving buyers the chance to purchase one for the holidays. Walmart has just received the “largest shipment of PS4’s ever“, which they will start selling tomorrow morning at 8am in stores nationwide.
It’ll be interesting to see how many PlayStation 4’s were sold during this fiscal year, but we’ll have to wait until March 31st to see.
Be sure to check out the PS Blogcast 101: The Next Generation for the full discussion with Jack Tretton, and the lengthy podcast touches upon many different things Tretton’s favorite television shows and what he likes most about his position at Sony.
Via PlayStation Blog