Horizon Forbidden West is driving new demand for PS5 restocks – and it's a problem
The Sony PlayStation 5 console has hardly been in stock in February 2022, yet the new game Horizon Forbidden West just launched this weekend
Sony launched Horizon Forbidden West for PS5 and PS4 this weekend, but this highly anticipated action RPG sequel from developer Guerilla Games presents a big problem: there hasn’t been any significant PS5 restock news in the US during February 2022.
Horizon Forbidden West is the biggest PS5 game to launch this year thus far, so just as the supply of the Sony PlayStation 5 console has dried up, consumer demand has begun to increase significantly again for the first time since Black Friday and Cyber Monday of last year. That’s a big problem. Only Target (and Sony Direct via an invite only) had a limited PS5 Disc and PS5 Digital Edition consoles restock this month.
The Horizon Forbidden West release date of February 18, 2022 won’t please everyone who can’t find the PS5 in stock today when the Sony gaming console first launched in November 2020. For these consumers, there is in fact a PS4 version of the game that still runs on the older PlayStation 4 console and Sony is offering last-gen gamers a free upgrade to the PS5 version. Buying the last-gen versions saves you $10 to boot, so all players should take advantage of this prime video game deal).
However, experiencing this post-apocalyptic adventure game without a PS5 is not ideal for many of the followers of my one million PS5 restock Twitter tracker.
Here’s what’s going on:
PS5 restocks delayed due to global ship shortage
Surprisingly, the global chip shortage hasn’t eased in 2022, affecting not only the PS5 and Xbox Series X restock of consoles, but Nvidia RTX GPUs, gaming PCs and cars. Even in my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, I note that pre-orders for launch day slipped within 24 hours, a rarity for an Android smartphone. Talking to supply chain analysts in my months of reporting on the topic, I’ve got the sense that we’re going to see shortages of popular consumer goods until 2023.
Even though major electronics firms like Intel have laid out plans to build new chip-producing foundries in the US – specifically an Intel chip foundry in Ohio to the tune of $5.4 billion, reports Fortune – we’re years away from seeing the results. By then, the PSVR 2 pre-order date in 2022 and maybe the rumored PS5 Slim will be a distant memory.
The only thing that could help the situation immediately is if PS5 consumer demand is met. There’s just one problem with that…
Horizon Forbidden West PS5 restock demand
Sony is launching some all-star video games in 2022, starting with the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. Horizon Forbidden West reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. That’s great news for existing PS5 console owners, but late-to-the-game consumers have increasingly had a difficult time locating the console in February.
PS5 restock demand sank by 31% in late January, according to the exclusive data I’ve collected through my social media accounts. But it shot back up by 20% this week, and that’s because Horizon Forbidden West launched on Friday.
More PS5 games to follow Forbidden West
There’s more to come. Some of the best PS5 games will add to the problem in the coming weeks. The Elden Ring release date is February 25, and the Grand Turismo 7 release date is March 4, 2022 (and that’s a PlayStation-exclusive game). Sony hasn’t announced a specific God of War Ragnarok release date, but did commit to a 2022 release window.
Further out, Forespoken, Final Fantasy XVI, Marvel’s Wolverine, and Spider-Man 2 are going to ensure a steady flow of PS5 games for those with the console. Sony hasn’t unveiled an Uncharted PS5 game, but one can only imagine an official announcement will come this summer during Summer Games Fest or a similar showcase.
Beyond individual video games, Sony’s reportedly planning to revamp its PlayStation online service in the coming months in order to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. That will further increase demand, which we have already seen when things like the PlayStation Plus February 2022 free games launched on February 1.
For now, you can find a solid PlayStation Plus discount code and the same for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 12-month discount code, as both companies compete with gamers’ attention, a rare win for consumers.
PS5 restock inventory at Walmart and Best Buy
There has only been one Walmart PS5 restock in 2022, and that was in mid-January, when thousands of my PS5 restock Twitter tracker followers were able to finally buy a console. Walmart delivered Xbox Series X console quickly from the same restock date, but the PS5 took longer to ship and, despite having the most inventory out of any US retailer, Walmart hasn’t given consumers the signal of another restock in February – yet.
Best Buy and GameStop have been usually quiet in February 2022. Each electronics store had one restock in January, but like Walmart, we haven’t seen a $499 PS5 Disc or $399 PS5 Digital Edition console recently – for MSRP or in a bundle like GameStop like to do with the PlayStation 5.
All of these retailers in the US were happy to sell you Horizon Forbidden West, with prices ranging from $59.99 for the PS4 version to $259 for the statue-included Regalla Edition. But only Target and Sony Direct has very limited restock in February.
Sony has cut forecast of PS5 consoles
In the months before Horizon Forbidden West launched and before the sudden rush to buy the console on Black Friday, PS5 sales outpaced those of the PS4 during the same timeframe seven years prior. However, in the summer of 2021, that pace began to slip. Demand rose, but that fact can only be blamed on supply. Sony trimmed the number of PS5 consoles it expects to sell by March 2022, reports Bloomberg.
Given the fact that barely any PlayStation 5 consoles sold in the US in the past three weeks, there’s reason to believe that Sony is going to continue to struggle to fulfill the demand of the video game system, leading to an even more strained Black Friday 2022 and to a PSVR 2 in question if it runs into similar supply chain issues.