Don’t expect to see Xbox Series X consoles filling up store shelves until at least June, according to a new statement from Microsoft’s head of investor relations, Mike Spencer. Multiple factors are responsible for the shortage, although it’s primarily driven by pandemic-relation supply chain issues.
Since launching last year, getting your hands on a Series X hasn’t been easy. Not only have scalpers been snatching up online inventory as soon as it’s available, but manufacturers themselves can’t keep up with demand. Microsoft has officially confirmed as much, claiming it won’t be able to increase its production until at least June.
Next-gen consoles are always a hot commodity, but everything seems to have been exacerbated by the pandemic this time around. Manufacturing chipsets while following lockdown protocols isn’t easy, safely shipping these units to console manufacturers isn’t easy, and putting together and shipping those consoles to retailers is an absolute headache for everyone involved.
In a separate announcement last week, AMD confirmed that its chipsets used in both PS5 and Series X|S would be constrained until at least the second half of the year – a timeline that matches this new statement from Spencer.
Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners, said there are “multiple factors behind next-gen console shortages.” These include issues with getting component orders in to build consoles and logistic headaches that have been compounded by the ongoing pandemic. This makes it difficult – and expensive – to ship units to retailers on time.
It’s worth pointing out that June is an optimistic target for an improved supply chain, not a guarantee. Demand for next-gen consoles won’t fade anytime soon, but it’s unclear exactly when supply chains will get back to operating at pre-pandemic levels. Even once things are safe and companies are cleared for business as usual, it might take them a while to ramp up their manufacturing and shipping schedules. And as someone who’s spent way too many years working in the manufacturing industry, I can tell you firsthand that things never quite go as planned.
For now, let’s cross our fingers and hope things look better in June.
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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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