Supply chain problems that plagued the PlayStation 5 for three years have now been resolved, its maker Sony has said.

The global chip shortage which began in 2020 impacted industries from car manufacturing to credit cards.

Customers were frustrated at month-long waits for the PS5, with some queueing outside shops overnight, and others paying resellers sky-high prices.

The shortages steadily resolved through 2023, and Sony said its supply chain is now completely fixed worldwide.

That means the console is now not only readily available – but a surplus may lead to retailers competing for the sale.

It comes as Sony boss Eric Lempel also said it had redesigned its PlayStation Plus subscription service, this week adding cloud gaming for PS5 games.

The gaming firm's head of of business said players could also digitally cloud stream many of the games they already own physically.

Microsoft's own subscription service, Game Pass, also allows players to stream some of the latest games.

Sony's announcement comes as Microsoft announced an aggressively cut-price deal for its Xbox console with three months of its subscription service bundled in, while Sony is focusing on hardware with a smaller PS5 coming soon.

In the video game sector all the major companies were affected by the chip shortage, and in 2022 scalpers were selling the PS5 at twice its retail price – despite this, the console increased in price by £30 in stores.

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'Reselling PlayStations keeps a roof over my head'

Christopher Ding, head of gaming news site, said the improvement to supply was important after players were unable to buy the new console.

He said: "2022 was a particularly poor year for PS5, with sales down on the previous year due to a lack of available units.

"Sony launched some big games in 2022… but these games were also released on PlayStation 4 because a large proportion of players were still gaming on the previous generation machine."

He said the shortage of PS5 consoles meant they had largely not been part of Black Friday deals in previous years, but he expected that to change this year.

Black Friday is a sales event held on the last Friday of November each year intended to kickstart holiday shopping by offering people cut-price deals.

PlayStation Portal 'not a rival'

Sony's upcoming hardware also includes a handheld gaming device, the PlayStation Portal, and its Access Controller for disabled gamers.

PlayStation Portal - it looks like a PS5 controller split down the middle, with a screen between both halvesImage source, SonyImage caption, The Portal divided fans when it was announced earlier this year, with some simply asking why it was needed

The PlayStation Portal is a cross between a controller and a screen, visually similar to a Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck handheld PC.

But Mr Lempel said it was not a rival to either, with players required to own a PS5 to use it.

"It's a different proposition and really just something unique for the PlayStation audience," he said.

It uses an internet connection to send signal from a game directly to the handheld device, rather than through a cable to a television.

Mr Lempel confirmed to the BBC that players will not be able to stream games directly from PlayStation's cloud gaming service onto the device.

He suggested it would benefit those who wanted to play games on their sofa while a partner watched TV, or to play games in a different room.

But he also confirmed it could be used while outside the home, so long as the internet signal was strong enough.

Access for disabled gamers

PlayStation will also be launching a controller for disabled gamers, which Mr Lempel called "a really special product".

Close up of Access Controller showing different coloured buttons and a joystickImage source, Getty ImagesImage caption, It is Sony's first attempt to create a customisable controller for disabled gamers

The Access Controller is a combination of different buttons, triggers and sticks that lets players create a set-up that suits their needs.

It will be the second mainstream disability controller to reach the UK market, following Microsoft's Adaptive Controller which released in 2018.

Other manufacturers, such as Hori, have also developed accessible controllers, and in 2022 8BitDo made one for gamers with spinal muscular atrophy, after being contacted by a parent.

But unlike Microsoft's controller which works with both Xbox and PC, Sony's controller will not work outside of PlayStation hardware.

A disabled gamer uses the PlayStation Access controllerImage source, Getty ImagesImage caption, A disabled gamer uses the PlayStation Access controller

Mr Lempel said it was designed so disabled people could use the controller without needing the adjust the way they feel comfortable.

"It's really about bringing a PlayStation experience to an audience that may have found difficulty engaging with a PlayStation previously," said Mr Lempel.

"The amount of customization you can do with this controller is unique – right out of the box you're given a lot of options.

"This is about configuring the controller for the way you want to play."

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