The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are going to be harder to find than you think

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be even rarer than experts previously estimated

As the shopping season quickly approaches, some of the most wanted giveaways of the year will once again be Sony’s PlayStation 5 (SONY), Microsoft’s Xbox Series X (MSFT), and Nintendo Switch (NTDOY).

And if you thought these consoles were hard to get before, as our own Ihsaan Fanusie pointed out, buckle up, because at least one industry analyst says system makers are expected to sell around 3.34 million. fewer units this calendar year than the previous one. total expected sales are estimated to have increased from 44.3 million to 40.9 million.

“There was a reduction in 2021 shipments in my July-November model, down about 3.34 million units,” IDC’s research director for games told Yahoo Finance, Lewis Ward.

This expected reduction in sales, a result of the continuing chip shortage, means that a year after the consoles launch, gamers will still have a hard time putting their callused thumbs on them. And it’s unlikely to end anytime soon.

Sony and Nintendo cut their forecasts

With the current supply chain crisis and the global chip shortage, experts have generally indicated that the best way to get what you need this holiday season is to buy as soon as possible. And while it can work for things like sneakers, pots and pans, and bikes, game consoles have been in short supply all year round.

Sony has reportedly lowered its estimate of year-end PlayStation 5 sales. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Since their launch in November 2020, the X and PS5 series have been incredibly hard to find. According to Mat Piscatella, video game consultant at NPD Group, the two consoles are selling at historic or near historic rates.

“Compared to historical references, the offer was good. The PlayStation 5 has been the best-selling PlayStation to date, and the Xbox Series is very close to being the best-selling Xbox, ”he said. “However, while at this point in previous cycles the material was more widely available, what we are seeing this generation is high demand that supply has so far been unable to meet.”

I have seen this shortage firsthand. Since last year, I’ve been trying to help my friends get a pair of PS5s. I set up Twitter alerts, tracked news articles saying stores had them in stock, and scoured retail websites – and still couldn’t grab one.

Every time I go to a website, the systems are exhausted. And that was before Sony and Nintendo revealed they were cutting back on the number of consoles they planned to ship this year.

According to Bloomberg, Sony originally expected to ship more than 16 million units by March 2022. But the company has reduced that number by 1 million, meaning it now plans to ship 15 million. units by March. This will only aggravate the availability problem for buyers.

“Our partners are working very well for us, but the chip shortage is definitely a challenge we all face,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in July.

Nintendo, meanwhile, cut its full-year sales forecast for its Nintendo Switch line by 1.5 million units, from 25.5 million to 24 million. Microsoft, for its part, does not publish sales figures for its Xbox hardware. The company’s consoles were just as hard to find as Sony’s.

Microsoft's Xbox Series X (black) and S-series (white) game consoles are on display at a SK Telecom flagship store in Seoul on November 10, 2020. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON- JE / AFP via Getty Images)

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X (black) and S-series (white) game consoles are on display at a SK Telecom flagship store in Seoul on November 10, 2020. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON- JE / AFP via Getty Images)

It’s all about chips … and the supply chain

So what’s keeping consoles off store shelves? You guessed it, the global chip shortage. Oh, and you can take a look at the supply chain crisis too. You see, game consoles have been among the most sought-after means of entertainment since the start of the pandemic. So when the new consoles hit right in the middle of the pandemic, demand exploded.

But the chip shortage, which started as consumers searched for everything from computers to webcams to cars, has kept the supply of these new consoles incredibly tight. It didn’t help that bots designed to take over consoles from online stores beat real people who wanted the systems.

All of this represents a year in which it was seemingly impossible for people to buy the consoles they wanted.

Then there is the tightening of the supply chain. It’s hard enough to brake the gears that power global manufacturing. But getting it back on track is even more difficult. Getting goods to manufacturers that can be turned into things like consoles takes a lot longer than it would otherwise.

It doesn’t help that US ports are performing about as well as a crooked pipe, with too much cargo coming in and only a few going out to stores. As a result, game consoles that are built and out of the box cannot get to the stores quickly enough to meet consumer demand.

TIANJIN, CHINA - 2021/11/14: All versions of Switch games in one Nintendo store.  Affected by the chip shortage, the production volume of the Nintendo Switch is expected to be reduced by 20% through March 2022. (Photo by Zhang Peng / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Nintendo recently announced that it is lowering its annual estimate of Switch sales. (Photo by Zhang Peng / LightRocket via Getty Images)

The shortage of available consoles has pushed up the prices of aftermarket sellers. We’re talking about a PS5 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $ 499 that sells for up to $ 1,200 on eBay. Or an Xbox Series X, also priced at $ 499, sold for $ 1,000. And that’s not counting the limited edition versions of the console, which can sell for $ 1,500.

And in case you were wondering, these prices are outrageous. Sure, consoles are fun, but the majority of new games are still available for the last-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X. Spending an extra $ 500 isn’t worth it when you can eventually get the new consoles.

So when can I get these consoles?

The biggest question for anyone hoping to get a console for themselves or someone they love is, “When will they be available?” And unfortunately, there isn’t a really clear answer. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both use AMD (AMD) chips, and AMD CEO Lisa Su said the chip shortage is expected to be less severe by the second half of 2022.

These are just the tokens, however. This means that you will still have to wait for them to be dropped off at the consoles and for them to be shipped worldwide.

So if you were hoping to get a console this holiday season, chances are you’re out of luck.

Piscatella advises hopeful consumers to follow retailers’ social media feeds to find out when they have new consoles in stock, and then have a go at nabbing one. But, he adds, don’t expect to go to your local Best Buy or another retailer to get one on the store shelves.

In a few months, however, supplies should start to catch up with demand, and you will be able to buy one without having to fight with everyone on the internet or overpay by an exorbitant amount.

For now, keep your old consoles and enjoy one more year.

Through Daniel howley, technical writer at Yahoo Finance.

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