Since Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S consoles launched in November last year, alongside Sony’s PlayStation 5, obtaining stock has proven to be difficult; Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, anticipates this console shortage struggle will continue for some time.
In an interview that included Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick hosted by The Wrap‘s editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman, Spencer indicated a global supply issue of semiconductor chips used by current videogame hardware is only part of the problem.
‘I think it’s probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem,’ Spencer said.
‘When I think about, what does it mean to get the parts necessary to build a console today, and then get it to the markets where the demand is, there are multiple kinds of pinch points in that process. And I think regretfully it’s going to be with us for months and months, definitely through the end of this calendar year and into the next calendar year.’
Spencer went on to acknowledge the console shortage frustration from fans who want to experience the latest videogame technology, which has also impacted Australian consumers.
Although at the time of writing the lower-powered and disc-less Xbox Series S console is available at popular local retailers EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, its beefier Series X counterpart is out of stock at all major retailers.
It’s an issue facing anyone wanting to purchase a PlayStation 5 as well, with demand exceeding supply to the point of retailers closing pre-orders, and no timeline of restocks.
Last month, Takeshi Kamebuchi, a director from Toshiba involved in semiconductor production, suggested the chip supply will remain ‘very tight until at least September ’, going as far as to suggest demand may not be met until 2023.
More recently, however, Lisa Su, CEO of processor company AMD, expects the shortage to ease before the end of 2022.
Long story short: don’t expect to have easy access to the latest games consoles any time soon.