Sony plans to ship 18 million PlayStation 5 consoles by March 2023. It's a good thing the PlayStation 5 just went on a diet and lost some weight.
Sony is currently preparing the largest shipment of PlayStation consoles in history. The company wants to ship 18 million PlayStation 5 consoles worldwide and meet console demand head-on. We've known about this incoming hardware salvo for some time, but Sony has made some strategic business decisions to squeeze as much profit out of the PlayStation 5 as possible.
There's three major developments to keep track of and all of them tie into one another. Sony just raised the price of the PS5 in practically all markets except for the United States due to "economic factors" like weaker foreign currency exchange rates and inflation trends (the spending records set during the pandemic are over as consumers weather rising costs of living). It's also worth noting that these same forex rates drastically cut PlayStation's operating income during the first quarter of FY2022, leading to a 50% reduction in USD-converted earnings.
The next development is that Sony has released new PlayStation 5 CFI-1202 models that are lighter than the previous models; the new PS5 disc model is 0.6lbs lighter, and the digital is 0.5 lbs lighter. This is a pretty big deal for Sony (and for any company that ships consumer electronics across the globe).
"We're planning next year's PS5 availability to ensure FY2022 will represent the highest number of consoles that we've ever sold in PlayStation history," SIE President Jim Ryan said in 2021.
The third development ties into Sony's shipping costs for this huge 18 million fusillade of consoles. Lighter consoles means less weight, and less weight means reduced overseas freight shipping costs from assembly lines to worldwide markets and regions.
A quick bit of multiplication shows that Sony has reduced total weight of its huge 18 million PS5 shipment by millions of pounds, assuming of course most, if not all, of the shipment is comprised of the new CFI-1202 line.
The CFI-1202 models weight reductions look like this:
- CFI-1202A (disc-based PS5) - 8.6lb/3.9kg, reduced weight by 0.6lb/0.3kg
- CFI-1202B (digital PS5) - 7.5lb/3.4kg, reduced weight by 0.5lb/0.2kg
We're not 100% sure what Sony pays for overseas shipping of its units, but like manufacturing and fabrication costs, it'll add up quickly.
Remember that Sony wants to make a profit from PlayStation 5 console sales. The PS5 had turned a profit in 2021 but this may have changed due to tighter chip supply and massive demand for tape-outs and contracts in chip fabrication facilities. In short, the PlayStation 5 may have become more expensive to manufacture, so to cut down costs as much as possible, Sony re-designed the PS5's internals and reduced total console weight.
We've speculated that the weight reduction directly corresponds to a newly-designed thermal system that could include a smaller, more compact and efficient heat sink. Sony released its first PS5 revision in 2021 with the CFI-1115 series, which had seen a weight reduction because of a smaller heat sink. Research shows this smaller heat sink actually performed better than the solution in the launch 2020, and the same should be true for the CFI-1202 models.