Sony seeing 'very considerable' PS5 demand ahead of launch
By Sam Nussey and Noriyuki Hirata
TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Sony Corp 6758.T is seeing "very considerable" demand for its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console via pre-orders, its gaming chief said on Wednesday, as users rush to secure the next-generation device ahead of its Nov. 12 launch.
The Japanese tech company pre-sold as many PS5 consoles in the first 12 hours in the United States as in the first 12 weeks for its predecessor PlayStation 4 device, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an interview.
"The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable," Ryan told Reuters.
Sony, which went on to sell more than 100 million PS4 units, aims to persuade its user base to upgrade to its new device to play titles like "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" with enhanced graphics, sound and feedback via a new controller.
The launch comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has boosted gaming companies' revenue but also disrupted retail networks, games development and manufacturing supply chains around the world.
"It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one," said Ryan, adding the company is "working as hard as we ever can" to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season.
Sony has built a network of in-house studios producing exclusive titles, including "Ghost of Tsushima" from Sucker Punch Productions, to fend off rivals including Microsoft's MSFT.O Xbox and new entrants.
Sony will grow its studio capability organically, Ryan said, adding that "where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A that might be possible."
Analysts question how far the expansion in gaming driven by stuck-at-home consumers will continue longer term, with Ryan saying it will be up to Sony to drive that engagement.
"We're definitely looking upwards and thinking that we can do better than we thought we could," Ryan said.
Sony's shares have gained 45% since March lows. Its shares climbed as much as 1.4% on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Sam Nussey and Noriyuki Hirata; Editing by David Holmes and Christopher Cushing)
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