We’re almost a year out from the releases of both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S, and the prevailing topic for the generation isn’t the games you can play on the new hardware but how hard it is to get your hands on a console. According to an executive at AMD, the chip supplier for Sony and Microsoft’s gaming machines, the drought is not quite at an end. However, there are signs of hope.
From a recent CNBC article, AMD CEO Lisa Su described the component supply for even the start of 2022 as “likely tight.” The shortage has been caused by an increase in demand since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers and businesses shift to at-home work environments, parts used in the manufacture of devices like desktop and laptop computers have been snapped up fast. Companies like AMD are still meeting demand. In addition to the shift of workers to home, there was also a growing demand for entertainment. Products like PlayStation 3, Xbox and graphics cards for computers amplify this need. “The pandemic has just taken demand to a new level,” said Su in the CNBC story.
Although the supply of these parts will be scarce for at least six to eight months, AMD has made investments to build new manufacturing facilities. These investment are expected to pay off soon. “It might take, you know, 18 to 24 months to put on a new plant, and in some cases even longer than that,” Su says about the timeline of getting these fresh plants up and running. “These investments were started perhaps a year ago.” AMD’s investment is in setting up other manufacturers to make its products. It outsources because the company doesn’t own the facilities for the production itself.
Although there will likely be a few available, those looking to buy a brand new PlayStation 5 console or Xbox Series console this year will have the best chance of finding one. However, they will not be in high demand. If you’re willing to wait, the second half of 2022 is looking to be when we see a significant jump in available tech across the board.