The PlayStation DualSense controller and the PlayStation 5 console.

Jakub Porzycki | Photo only | Getty Images

The PlayStation 5 is fully stocked in stores around the world and will meet Sony’s sales target of 25 million units for this year, a company executive told CNBC exclusively.

“This holiday season is the first holiday season where we will be fully equipped with PlayStation 5 in every region,” Eric Lempel, head of business operations at Sony, said in an interview earlier this week.

This came after a series of back-to-back console shortages that left many gamers around the world unable to get their hands on PS5 devices. Poor supply volumes related to the global chip shortage and supply chain disruptions significantly limited the availability of PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S.

The PS5 and Xbox Series X were notoriously difficult to find in stores following their launch in November 2020. Sony, on the other hand, is struggling to meet demand for the PS5 due to supply shortages occurring every year after the PS5’s release.

According to Lempel, that is now over and this will be the first year that the PS5 will be available at full capacity before the holidays at Sony, retailers and other distribution partners around the world.

“We launched in 2020,” Lempel told CNBC. “We suffered from the same supply chain issues that everyone was struggling with. Unfortunately, we were unable to deliver the PS5 to the consumer who wanted one.”

Sony had set a goal of shipping 25 million PS5 devices in 2023. That would make it the best year for any PlayStation device in history.

Lempel said the company is on track to achieve that goal this year and expects “record-breaking sales” thanks to the realignment of supply and demand for titles such as the newly released Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which is exclusive to PS5 is.

Sony’s next earnings reports will be November 9th.

Eyes on the competition

Sony’s popular PS5 device has already sold millions of units – surpassing Microsoft’s Xbox Series X in demand.

Microsoft is betting big on gaming becoming a more integral part of its business. That’s why the Redmond, Washington-based company paid so much to buy Activision Blizzard.

In a $69 billion deal that has finally been agreed upon, Activision will be sold to Microsoft and blockbuster titles like “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush” and “Crash Bandicoot” will now be added to the Xbox gaming division .

Rival companies, not least Sony, had feared that this could hinder competition if Microsoft made games like Call of Duty exclusive to its Xbox platform. Call of Duty is a billion-dollar gaming franchise.

However, cloud gaming rights, which involve streaming video games across remote data centers, are being sold to French publisher Ubisoft.

Ubisoft will own the cloud rights to Call of Duty and allow people to stream the game on its Ubisoft+ subscription platform after reaching a compromise with UK regulators to convince them of the deal’s competition implications.

Sony had repeatedly sounded the alarm about the negative impact of the Microsoft-Activision deal, once even warning that game quality on PlayStation consoles could be reduced if Microsoft decided to undermine the programming in any way.

Microsoft, in turn, said it had no intention of doing so and that the Activision deal was good for competition.

Looking for partnerships

In response to a CNBC question about whether Sony needs to do something in response to Microsoft’s attempt to catch up with its gaming intellectual property land grab, Lempel said Sony is constantly looking for new developer partners to create exclusive titles for the PS5 develop .

However, he added that attempts to further expand Sony’s growing catalog of first-party games may not always be accompanied by acquisitions, underscoring the company’s interest in partnerships.

“We have different ways of looking at this,” Lempel said, adding, “In terms of great content, that’s what we’re focused on.”

“We did more M&A [mergers and acquisitions] “We are always looking to work with new partners, be it as an external provider… or we work with a developer on the side and acquire them later.”

Lempel cited Insomniac Games, which developed the Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise for PlayStation, as a good example of this strategy. Insomniac was previously a partner of Sony, developing games for the PlayStation platform, but became more integrated with Sony before the Japanese tech giant later decided to buy the company outright.

The company’s Spider-Man 2 game sold more than 2.5 million copies in its first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game in history in 24 hours.

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