The launch of a next-gen console always comes with a rush to get one before the first stockpiles are extinguished and, in the current climate, the anxiety is real for those hoping to get their hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
However, in the case of the forthcoming Sony PS5, the fears may be unfounded. A new report from Nikkei Asian Review tells of the company’s production facility in Kisarazu, Japan, which is currently pumping out PS4 consoles at an astonishing rate.
According to the report, a largely autonomous robot army is capable of assembling a PS4 console in just 30 seconds. All that’s required of the humans working on the 31.4-metre production line is to feed the robots the motherboards and box up the completed games machines.
Should the facility, which has been fully operational since 2018, be capable of repeating the feat for the PS5, Sony should be able to deliver enough consoles to satisfy the most vociferous demand. That’s providing the requisite components, many of which are produced by third-parties, are available in sufficient quantities
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The production line, which contains 32 robots in total, was built for Sony by Mitsubishi Electric and is operated by Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations, the report says. One of its greatest achievements is the ability to handle precise and finicky tasks that would previously be beyond the capabilities of a machine.
The report says:
One of the plant’s crowning achievements is the use of robots to attach wires, tape and other flexible parts to the consoles. Twenty-six out of 32 robots at the Kisarazu plant are dedicated to the task, deftly handling materials most robots would find too finicky.
For example, attaching the flexible flat cable — a tape-like electrical cord — requires one robot arm to hold up the cable and another to twist it. The cable then needs to be attached in a specific direction using just the right pressure, which may seem simple for a human but is an extremely complex manoeuvre for robot.
If the PS5 is as successful as its predecessor the demand will be sky-high come the holiday season. Those robots may be the difference-makers in the new console war should the PS5 stock levels outstrip those of the Xbox Series X.