Xbox Series X|S Supplies Will Be Constrained Until Mid-2021

Microsoft previously said that its new Xbox consoles would be supply-constrained through April, but it looks like would-be buyers will need to wait even longer.

That’s according to Microsoft head of investor relations Mike Spencer, who told The New York Times last week that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S supply is now likely to be constrained “at least” through June.

Supplies of new Xbox and PlayStation consoles have been notably poor since their collective launches in November, with scalpers commanding high prices for the hard-to-find devices. For its part, Microsoft experienced its best-ever quarter at the end of 2020, with Xbox delivering over $5 billion in revenues for the first time in history. But the firm could have sold many more consoles if it could just have manufactured them in time.

Neither Microsoft nor Sony have revealed unit sales for the new consoles, and Microsoft isn’t expected to at any time. But The New York Times quoted an analyst from Astris Advisory who believes that Sony sold at least six million PlayStation 5 consoles through the end of 2020, with Microsoft selling about three million units of Xbox Series X and Series S. It was the first quarter in which Microsoft launched two console versions at the same time.

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Conversation 20 comments

  • webdev511

    Premium Member
    01 February, 2021 - 3:10 pm

    <p>Not surprised at the timing, kind of surprised at the idea they only sold half the number of PS5s though. I'll wait until they hit store shelves and the scalpers run is over.</p>

  • Saarek

    01 February, 2021 - 3:17 pm

    <p>I wonder what the hold up is. New products are always a bit constrained at launch, but we are two months passed that already.</p><p><br></p><p>Whoever plans their chain management should get fired for incompetence.</p>

    • remc86007

      01 February, 2021 - 3:32 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#611332">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's not anybody at Microsoft or AMDs fault. No one could have predicted two years out when the launch window was finalized that TSMC would be the only truly viable top tier fab in the world. Samsung, Intel, and GlobalFoundries cannot compete with TSMC on power efficiency and performance at the top end. Right now the Series S and X chips are competing for fab space with PS5, all of AMDs CPUs and GPUs, some of the Nvidia stuff, all of Apple's chips, many of the custom chips for car manufacturers, and many others. Everyone wants to be on TSMC 7nm. </p><p><br></p><p>What is strange is that, given the supply constraints from TSMC, that Microsoft didn't prioritize Series S production since it is a dramatically smaller die. I'd guess they are losing slightly more money per Series S sold than Series X, but they would quickly recoup the difference in Gamepass subscriptions.</p>

      • Saarek

        01 February, 2021 - 4:54 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#611337">In reply to remc86007:</a></em></blockquote><p>But then, like Apple, they should have booked out capacity years in advance. That's their job after all.</p><p><br></p><p>Perhaps I am being too harsh.</p>

        • jwpear

          Premium Member
          01 February, 2021 - 7:19 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#611353">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, just shows that Microsoft are still relative amateurs at this hardware thing.</p>

          • Paul Thurrott

            Premium Member
            02 February, 2021 - 8:54 am

            Well. They certainly have a decade-plus of experience in videogame hardware. I think this speaks mostly to the relative low volumes of the console market vs. other mass-market hardware like phones, tablets, and even PCs. A console that sells 80+ million units over its entire ~8 year lifecycle is a huge success, but Apple sold more iPhones than that in the previous quarter alone.

            • mikegalos

              03 February, 2021 - 7:22 am

              <blockquote><em><a href="#611412">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>The supply chain problem between different scale industries reminds me of two versions of Windows back when it was primarily a boxed product sold at retail. </p><p><br></p><p>When the earlier version released the world was still on floppy disks and when the new version of Windows shipped there was a several month long shortage of 3 1/2" floppy disks because Microsoft manufacturing had basically bought the world's supply. </p><p><br></p><p>A couple of years later the world had mostly switched to CD-ROM and even though Microsoft needed considerably more kits put together the entire production for Windows wasn't even a dent in the world production market since CD-ROM production was at the scale needed for the music industry and no software product was even a dent in that supply chain.</p>

        • b6gd

          01 February, 2021 - 8:36 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#611353">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>Apple, especially Tim Cook are the masters at supply chain management. Microsoft is also not a hardware company.</p><p><br></p><p>That said how do you predict this last year? A world wide pandemic which pushes work from home to new levels, demanding way more hardware, and at the same time you have major releases from multiple vendors.</p>

          • irfaanwahid

            02 February, 2021 - 12:33 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#611378">In reply to b6gd:</a></em></blockquote><p>I can't exactly remember who it was, Phil or Panos who acknowledged in one of the interviews that folks at Apple have perfected SCM. So Microsoft knows they have a thing or 2 to learn from Apple when it comes to sourcing hardware components. </p>

            • Paul Thurrott

              Premium Member
              02 February, 2021 - 8:48 am

              No one is catching up to Apple in this regard. If Lenovo and HP can’t do it, and they can’t, Microsoft isn’t even in the running.

            • b6gd

              02 February, 2021 - 9:20 am

              <blockquote><em><a href="#611386">In reply to irfaanwahid:</a></em></blockquote><p>I read a bio on Tim Cook. He was the Vice President of corporate materials for Compaq before coming to Apple. Basically was their supply chain management guy and did a great job. Steve Jobs, allegedly sought him out for that reason.</p>

              • Paul Thurrott

                Premium Member
                02 February, 2021 - 9:31 am

                Right. Cook is the reason everything is made in China. That’s … quite the legacy, when you think about it.

      • SenorGravy

        Premium Member
        06 February, 2021 - 5:07 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#611337">In reply to remc86007:</a></em></blockquote><p>Also, for perspective, Ford Motor Company just cut F150 production to just one shift. That's huge because the F150 is as critical to the success of Ford as the iPhone is to Apple. The reason is they can't get enough semiconductors.</p><p><br></p><p></p><p><br></p><p>It's a tough business environment and it's affecting everybody. </p>

  • RobertJasiek

    01 February, 2021 - 4:05 pm

    <p>Circa 3 million sounds extremely good compared to Nvidia RTX 3000, AMD RX 6000, Ryzen 5900X / 5950X and quality power supply unit shortages, where 100 per major country per week at MSRPs is only a dream.</p>

  • b6gd

    01 February, 2021 - 4:34 pm

    <p>AMD and TSMC are the hold up. AMD has too many hot products right now. Ryzen 5000 series, 6800-6900 video cards, and the PS5 and XSS/X.</p><p><br></p><p>I read today that MLB the Show is coming to PS and Xbox in April!!!! It is the only must have exclusive (for me) on the Play Station, that I can now play on my XSX.</p>

  • sykeward

    01 February, 2021 - 5:51 pm

    <p>This is becoming a real problem, and not just for consoles. I was reading today that many carmakers are having to halt production lines because they're unable to secure the chips needed for electronic vehicle components. It appears that packaging capabilities are the cause for many of these problems and not necessarily TSMC's ability to process wafers, thanks to the trade war affecting TSMC's packaging suppliers in China. What a mess.</p>

  • ecumenical

    01 February, 2021 - 6:06 pm

    <p>Increasingly glad I was able to find one.</p>

  • bluvg

    01 February, 2021 - 7:35 pm

    <p>Apple's front of the line at TSMC, sucking up the majority of their capacity?</p>

  • gvan

    01 February, 2021 - 8:29 pm

    <p>I went over to Game Stop this weekend and they were completely sold out of consoles, including older models. This must be an industry wide shortage?</p>

  • harrymyhre

    Premium Member
    04 March, 2021 - 10:21 am

    <p>I heard an interesting store on the BBC digital planet podcast.</p><p>Windows PC are in short supply.</p><p>But kids need to go online to do their homework for school.</p><p>The story was about how to connect a keyboard and mouse to an Xbox.</p><p>Is this a viable option? I have never heard anybody talk abou this.</p><p>However, every time I visited the old Microsoft store in Century City I would notice – all the Xbox consoles were set up in front of a nice monitor and had a great keyboard and mouse. And I would think "why doesn't microsoft market this thing as a Home PC?"</p><p><br></p><p>I really know zilch about the Xbox.</p><p>Does it have enough power to enable schoolkids to do their homework?</p><p><br></p><p>thanks</p>


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