PS5 PlayStation5 South Africa
Sony PlayStation 5 home video game console and DualSense controller (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images via Getty Images)
  • Pre-sold PS5 consoles are expected to arrive in South Africa before the end of the year.
  • According to one major retailer, Sony has only managed to meet 10% of the demand in South Africa.
  • But PlayStation’s sole distributor is unwilling to guarantee supply in December “due to supply chain challenges into the country”.
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A global shortage of PlayStation 5 (PS5) consoles has left retailers and gamers in the lurch, with South African stores unlikely to have stock on the shelves in time for Christmas. Sony’s latest console launched in South Africa on 19 November, with limited in-store stock selling out in minutes and pre-order deliveries complicated by logistical delays.

According to online retailer, Raru, the second drop of PS5 pre-orders sold out in just over a minute. Makro and Takealot’s online offers were also snapped up quickly. According to Koodoo, which, through its umbrella organisation, Gamefinity, has exclusive rights to distribute Sony PlayStation consoles and peripherals in South Africa, stock is expected to arrive in the country between 16 December and 20 December.

“The PS5 units are on their way to us from Europe. While we will make every effort to get your PS5 to you before Xmas, we unfortunately cannot guarantee this due to supply chain challenges into the country,” Koodoo announced via its Facebook page on 11 November.

Since then, the supply situation has deteriorated even further. Speaking to Russian news agency, Tass, shortly after the international launch, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that “absolutely everything is sold”.

And while Ryan, like Koodoo, has verified the arrival of stock before Christmas, local retailers say that these consoles will only be available to gamers who placed early pre-orders during the second drop.

Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, BT Games Director, Launa Bagnall, said that the next round of pre-orders would only materialise in January. “We have a shipment coming in around Christmas [Drop 2] which has been sold out,” she said. “However, there is another shipment expected in January which we have not offered for presell yet.”

Bagnall added that South Africa was not a priority market and was fortunate to receive stock of the next generation console for the official launch date. “Previously we have had to wait over a month or up to a year, [like] in the case of Xbox One, for the next generation consoles to be made available for SA,” said Bagnall.

“We were not supplied with even 10% of the quantity we required for clients that expressed interest, explained Bagnall. “The demand has far exceeded the supply.”

Replying to a flurry of queries on social media, Takealot issued standard replies. “We regrettably are out of stock for the PS5 consoles,” Takealot stated on 23 November. “We are not able to confirm if/when we will have it listed.”

Makro issued a similar response on 25 November. “Unfortunately, our allocated units have sold out, but we are working with our suppliers to get more units,” the retailer explained.

Brian Leroni, Senior Vice President of Group Corporate Affairs at Massmart, Makro’s holding company, denied that there was a backlog and, instead, pointed to an allocation of stock being swiftly exhausted.

“Japan provides each country, including South Africa, an allocation of stock for the launch,” explained Leroni. “The distributor in South Africa received their full allocation which has been now been sold via the various retailers. South Africa now awaits the next allocation from Sony Japan, probably sometime in December.”

Sony’s limited South African supply coincides with the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X | S next generation console. Labelled the “console wars”, Microsoft pipped Sony’s launch by nine days, releasing the Xbox Series X | S on 10 November.

Despite getting out of the starting blocks earlier, Microsoft has also been hit with supply issues.

While Takealot, Makro and BT Games have stock of the Xbox Series S for sale, the Series X, which closely rivals the PS5, is difficult to find.

The PS5 is priced at R9,999 for the digital edition and R11,999 for Ultra HD Blu-ray™ disc drive version.

The Xbox Series X retails for the same price, at Xbox Series X at R11,999, while the all-digital Series S console costs R6,999.

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