The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been hard to come by since both consoles launched in November, but it looks like both could become even more rare due to global semiconductor shortages! According to The Guardian, the shortage began after factories closed during the coronavirus pandemic. While chip production has restarted, demand currently far outstrips supply and it looks like it could have an impact on a number of different industries. With Sony and Microsoft scrambling to keep up with demand right now, the shortage couldn’t come at a worse time for the two companies and for the video game industry as a whole.
In the Guardian article, Neil Campling, a media and technology analyst at Mirabaud, told the outlet that the current level of demand is unprecedented.
“French fries are everything,” Campling said. “There is a perfect storm of supply and demand factors here. But basically, there is a new level of demand that cannot be sustained, the whole world is in crisis and it is getting worse.”
Of course, this news will prove daunting for those currently looking for a next-gen console. In recent months, resellers have made the PS5 and Xbox Series X incredibly hard to come by, and chip shortages could exacerbate that problem. Sony launched an ambitious sales target of 6 million units before the launch of the PS5, and The Guardian says Sony could lose its targets as a result of the shortage. Similarly, the Xbox Series X could remain in short supply until the second half of 2021.
The news shows how much the coronavirus pandemic continues to present challenges for the video game industry. From shifts to remote development, to cancellations of in-person esports competitions, it is clear that the impact of the pandemic on the industry will continue to be felt for a long time to come. Of course, GameStop is another company that can lose in this situation. The retailer has had several difficult years between declining interest in the PS4 and Xbox One and the coronavirus pandemic. GameStop had a solid fourth quarter in 2020 thanks to next-gen systems, but if PS5 and Xbox Series X remain in short supply, that could hurt the company’s progress.
It remains to be seen whether chipmakers will be able to increase production to meet demand, but semiconductors are used in many different products, including cars, phones, and televisions. Sony and Microsoft will have to compete with many other potential customers to get more.
Have you managed to acquire a next-generation console? Are you worried that the global shortage of chips will make it harder to find them? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about everything related to games!