Along with gaming GPUs, the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 have been in very short supply over the last 18 months. The COVID-19 pandemic caused an explosion in interest in gaming, leading to a devastating shortage. Even now, nearly two years into the problem, it doesn’t look to be abating in any meaningful way.
Scalpers and resellers have taken full advantage, charging as much as 3x MSRP for consoles and PC components. And gamers are tired of waiting. More and more people are just tired of waiting for an Xbox Series X or other consoles. The shortages have been so crushing that low-end GPUs have risen to increasingly absurd prominence as gamers try to squeeze relevance out of the aging technology.
And we’ve gotten more bad news, as the Xbox and PlayStation shortage may not be ending anytime soon.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said that the shortage of Xbox Series X/S consoles will possibly extend to 2022. In an interview with The Wrap, he said that the Xbox shortage is more complicated than a “chip problem.” There are multiple “pinch points” in the overall production process. It’s these slowdowns working in tandem that have created noticeable consumer shortages.
This doesn’t just apply to game consoles either. Even as GPU shortages continue to cause scalping and inflated wait times, there are plenty of other products affected. Everything from cars and trucks to TVs have been affected in myriad ways.
Around the globe, shortages for many consumer goods are being felt. And a big part of the problem is that logistics chains have been slowed to a crawl due to workloads and a lack of willing workers. The slowdown at American ports is also causing issues for consumers. The Biden administration recently announced a plan to move to 24/7 operation—in a bid to clear the backlog of ships waiting at ports.