Bottom line: Xbox says that shortages of its next-gen consoles will continue through the rest of the year and into 2022. Thanks to Covid restrictions and the overall chip shortage that the pandemic instigated, consumers have had a hard time snagging new consoles. However, Xbox head Phil Spencer says it's not just the chip shortage causing production delays.
On Thursday, in an interview with The Wrap during the second day of its The Grill Livestream event, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that its production issues go beyond the global chip shortage.
"I think it's probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem," Spencer said. "When I think about, what does it mean to get the parts necessary to build a console today, and then get it to the markets where the demand is, there are multiple kind [sic] of pinch points in that process. And I think regretfully it's going to be with us for months and months, definitely through the end of this calendar year and into the next calendar year."
Spencer did not elaborate on precisely what those "pinch points" were, but with continued concern over infection, many suppliers are likely not running at full capacity. Additionally, the entire supply chain is probably still bogged down with backorders.
What Spencer finds most troubling is the disappointment from consumers, acknowledging that it's not just Xbox fans that are disappointed.
"The thing that's most disappointing is just the fan disappointment," said the Xbox Boss. "People really want this new generation of consoles—they're good consoles, both from us and the other platform holders—and they want the new functionality. We're working hard to bring them to market, but it's going to be a challenge that we'll work through for quite a while."
Unfortunately, the situation is not helped by scalpers buying up stock as fast as it is put up for sale nor by retailers continuing to refuse to sell consoles in their physical locations. Until something changes, getting ahold of a new gaming system is going to continue to be tricky.
Image credit: Dmitry Novikov