EIGHTEEN months after the launch of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the consoles are not easier to grasp.
Global stock shortages have plagued the elusive machines since release – and failed millions of players.
And according to a major US tech company, there is no end in sight to the deficit anytime soon.
Intel expects the global microchip shortage causing console inventory shortages to continue into 2024.
These chips, also known as semiconductors, power everything from cars and laptops to smart refrigerators.
They’ve been in short supply since the pandemic began, as lockdowns slowed production and demand skyrocketed.
Factories produced fewer chips than usual for months while consumers clamored for more laptops, smart TVs and consoles.
As a result, according to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, there’s a backlog that shows no signs of slowing down.
Speaking to CNBC last week, Gelsinger — CEO of one of the world’s largest chipmakers — reiterated an earlier prediction that chip shortages could end in 2023.
He now claims it will continue into next year, blaming the ongoing shortage of manufacturing tools for disrupting the industry.
“We believe that overall semiconductor shortages will now drift into 2024 from our earlier estimates of 2023,” Gelsinger said.
“Bottlenecks have hit the equipment now and some of those factory ramps are going to be more challenged.”
In addition to gaming, this will affect many industries, including large car manufacturers such as Tesla.
Microchips have been in short supply since the pandemic began, and simply making more of them is no easy task.
“The industry was already stretched to capacity and manufacturers couldn’t increase supply overnight,” analyst Alan Priestley told the BBC last year.
“It would require building a new factory, and building a single new factory would take three to four years.”
Sony and Microsoft have both made dire predictions about when stocks of their new consoles could be plentiful.
In July, Sony CEO Jim Ryan told Reuters: “We’re still some time away from meeting all demand, which makes me feel bad.”
Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer said the shortage will continue well into 2022.
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