Six months after the launch of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, it is still very to get your hands on a new console. The situation could persist until 2022, according to Bloomberg. It also impacts game development.
A global pandemic, conservative production planning, soaring demand, and a fight to secure components. These are the main ingredients in the global chip shortage, which is affecting everything from consoles and TVs to cars and accessories.
The situation has significantly impacted the launch of Sony and Microsoft's new game consoles. In the fight to secure components, bigger players have reportedly have more luck securing components.
- "All that has dried up the spigot for smaller-volume buyers such as the makers of cars and gaming consoles: Nintendo Co., Sony and Microsoft Corp. have struggled to make enough Switches, PlayStations and Xboxes for about a year. The game hardware industry is bracing for supply to get worse before it gets better in 2021, potentially even affecting the next holiday season, people familiar with the matter," wrote Bloomberg.
Could last until 2022
Bloomberg's claim that the supply issues could affect holiday sales this year were not dismissed by Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan who told Financial Times that Sony cannot guarantee sufficient consoles to meet sales orders next Christmas.
In a recent update to Japan's Nikkei, he said that Sony is trying hard to ramp up production.
- "There are several reasons why PS5 was hard to come by," said Ryan. "Supply under the new coronavirus was very complicated, and we had to limit distribution to online. The supply and demand for semiconductors is also tight worldwide. We are asking our suppliers to allow us to increase production, which will flow into the market this year."
As for Microsoft the latest significant update came in February where Microsoft's Investor Relations chief Mike Spencer told The New York Times that limited supply will last at least through June 2021.
Affects game development too
Microsoft had planned to launch Halo Infinite alongside Xbox Series X/S. The company has commented that the reason for the delay is remote work due to coronavirus.
The pandemic has caused general delays in game development for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch, according to Bloomberg. Many of the big console games originally planned for 2021 have been postponed to 2022 or later.
- "Please be aware that the impact on game development in terms of both hardware and software may potentially increase as the amount of time spent working remotely increases," Nintendo chief Shuntaro Furukawa said last year.
- Source: Nikkei, FT, NYT, Bloomberg (2)