The console shortage that has affected both Microsoft and Sony for their next-generation consoles may well continue into next year, at least according to Microsoft's Head of Gaming Phil Spencer. GamesIndustry reports the following quote, grabbed from the executive's appearance on WrapPRO's TheGrill 2021 event.
I think it's probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem. 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 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.
The thing that's most disappointing is just the fan disappointment. 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.
Phil Spencer was likely referring to Xbox Series S and X consoles, but the PlayStation 5 hardware is notoriously almost identical as it also features AMD Ryzen and AMD RDNA technology, so it's fair to assume Sony would face similar issues to Microsoft when it comes to the console shortage.
Of course, this is only a subset of the larger chip shortage that has been affecting many industries, including the PC graphics card market where both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs are almost impossible to find and far more expensive than they should be.
At least Microsoft offers another way to experience its latest games with the cloud gaming bundled into Game Pass subscriptions. The service has just launched in Japan, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil, in addition to previously supported territories like Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the US.