If you're the kind of person who can't wait to get your hands on the newest gaming systems when they release, then you're no stranger to holiday shortages and online scalpers. Big name systems are almost always released a month or two before the holiday season, prompting rushes to buy them up as presents for loved ones.
This past holiday season was no exception, but not for the usual reasons. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply issues for many industries: auto, mobile phones, and now also, gaming consoles. Bloomberg is reporting that the global chip shortage, a result of disrupted supply chains and increased demand for gaming software, has affected AMD, which makes the chips for both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X.
Last month, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su warned that the exceptional demand driven by the pandemic will continue to affect their ability to produce the chips, possibly leading to shortages that may affect the supply of the consoles until the end of 2021. The problem with the chip shortage is that big tech companies who need the chips are grabbing up the supply, which doesn't leave much for other companies and industries who don't buy the same quantities.
Some optimistic reports regarding the chip shortages have speculated that the supply might start ramping up as early as March or June, but right now none of that seems especially likely.
Currently, unless you're really lucky or willing to shell out big bucks to scalpers (footnote: definitely don't do that!), getting your hands on a PS5 or an Xbox Series X remains an extremely slim possibility until supply chains re-regulate themselves. Speaking of scalping, the shortage of systems and the outrageous prices put forth by resellers have prompted people to call for criminalizing the practice. Although online stores have attempted to curb scalping by limiting quantities going to a single address and so on, it hasn't been able to keep up with the demand.
Do you have an Xbox Series X or a Playstation 5, or are you still looking for one? Let me know in the comments!