Microsoft Expects Console Shortages Into 2021

Posted on November 16, 2020 by Brad Sams in Games, Xbox, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X with 19 Comments

Every time there is a hardware launch, there is almost universally a shortage of supply. In the early days of the iPhone, it was common for the supply to run dry but as the product has aged, Apple has done a decent job of matching supply and demand as each year, it’s a known figure.

But when it comes to building consoles, predicting demand is much harder as these products are released roughly every seven years or so. Couple this with the pandemic and supply chains being interrupted and you have a perfect storm for console shortages.

If you were hoping to pick up a new Xbox before the end of the year, or even in early 2021, you are going to need a bit of luck – if you didn’t already pre-order a device. In an interview with Tim Stuart, the CFO of Xbox,  he said the outlook is dim for those looking to get a new Xbox console during the next couple of months.

Specifically, he stated “I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft’s Q3, calendar Q1. And then when we get to Q4, all of our supply chain continuing to go full speed heading into kind of the pre-summer months”

In his estimate, he sees shortages potentially resolving in 4 months but possibly as long as 6 months. Keep in mind these are not definitive timelines as the true demand for the hardware is not yet known but what this means for the short-term is that finding a console is going to be a challenge.

The entire interview is worth a listen if you like hearing how the CFO of Xbox thinks about acquisitions and content strategy but the short version is that everything is geared towards Game Pass and creating a pipeline of content.

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