Supply issues have prevented the launch of the latest generation of video game consoles. Even now, almost two months later Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S released, Microsoft is still meeting demand, and has reportedly reached out to chipmaker AMD to track production at the end.
AMD produces GPUs and CPUs for both consoles, so if it is able to squeeze out its chips faster, Microsoft could in theory throw out more consoles in extension. As discovered by VGCMicrosoft is “working as hard as we can” to pump out more systems and has even contacted AMD for help, according to Xbox CEO Phil Spencer in a recent issue of Major Nelson Radio podcast hosted by Xbox Live Programming Director Larry Hyrb
“I get some people [asking], ‘why did you not build more? Why did you not start earlier? Why did you not send them earlier? ‘ I mean, all these things, ”said Spencer. “It’s really just physics and engineering. We do not hold them back: we build them as fast as we can. We have all the assembly lines in place. I was on the phone last week with [CEO and president] Lisa Su at AMD [asking], ‘How do we get more? How do we get more? ‘ So it’s something we’re constantly working on. ”
Back in November, Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart projected that problems with Xbox supply could persist at least April. In 2020, Microsoft shipped an estimated 3.3 million units of its advanced Xbox Series X, per Statista, and sold approximately 21,000 Xbox Series X and S devices in Japan at launch.
Microsoft is not the only one struggling, though: Competitor Sony has to deal with a similar shortage of the next generation console, PlayStation 5, which also depends on AMD for GPU and CPU.
“But it’s not just us, I think games have really come into their own in 2020,” Spencer told Hyrb. “Obviously PlayStation 5 has a very tight offer. When you look at the graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia … there’s just a lot of interest in games right now, and console sales are just a sign of that, game sales are a sign of that, and hardware is in short supply. ”
However, chipmakers like AMD and Nvidia already have their hands full with their own supply problems. AMD struggled to meet demand for the Ryzen 5000 series processors last year. A global shortage of GDDR6 memory has allegedly contributed to the bottleneck production for AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 and Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series GPUs, and things are not expected to improve until February. It can also reduce the production of next-generation consoles, since both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S use GDDR6 RAM.
So it’s uncertain whether AMD will ever be able to meet Microsoft’s call for action. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic and the rush to distribute vaccines can also affect global supply lines. And so it is scalps pick up available stock to sell them at a selection. ONE recent analysis estimates that eBay scalpers sold more than $ 82 million in September since reselling next-generation consoles and AMD and Nvidia chips.