Playstation and Xbox Consoles Fly Off Shelves as Holidays Approach — How Sony and Microsoft Stocks Performed in 2021

Playstation 5 on sale, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - 19 Nov 2020
Robin Utrecht /

Digital Grinches in the form of bots are once again competing against humans to snag those ever-popular and elusive PlayStation 5 game consoles — just like they did last year over the holidays — which might be bad news for consumers who want to buy one the old-fashioned way. However, it’s holly jolly news for the stock prices of PlayStation partners Sony and Microsoft.

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Sony shares have been trading near 2021 highs this week as the electronics and entertainment conglomerate benefits from high sales of PlayStation 5. Microsoft’s stock price has been equally robust of late, establishing new highs in November and staying close to that range in December. Both stocks have been tracking closely to the S&P 500.

Xbox maker Microsoft and Sony formed a partnership a couple of years ago in which the latter company uses the former’s cloud technology to support its game and content-streaming services.

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How much the Xbox and PS5 play into their strong stock performances is hard to say, considering that Sony and Microsoft both have plenty of other revenue sources. But both are highly profitable products — especially for Sony — and in such heavy demand that stores around the world sell out almost as soon as it hits the shelves.

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Demand is so high, in fact, that bots and humans in Australia have been battling it out to score the PS5s that are available, reported. The same thing happened last year in the United States.

This year’s battle is even more intense, though, because of a shortage in the number of PS5s being produced.

In November, Sony Group lowered its PlayStation 5 production outlook for this fiscal year because of component and logistics constraints, Bloomberg reported. Sony previously targeted manufacturing more than 16 million units for the year, but had to cut that number down to about 15 million.

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Despite the shortages, Sony had already sold more than 13 million PS5s as of late October, Forbes reported. That’s almost the number of PS4s that sold over the same time frame, even though the earlier model faced far fewer supply obstacles.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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