Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's gaming division, told TheWrap (opens in new tab) (via VGC (opens in new tab)) that the problem won't be resolved before Christmas. He also said that the problem isn't just down to a shortage of computer chips – rather there are "multiple... pinch points" that need to be addressed.
"I think it’s probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem," Spencer said. "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."
Spencer went on to say that what he found most disappointing about the situation was that fans couldn't get their hands on next-gen consoles, not only from Xbox, but from Sony too (though he stopped short of naming Xbox's arch rival).
"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," he said. "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."
The chip shortage was caused by disruption to manufacturing caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It has caused supply shortages of all sorts of consumer electronics, including smartphones like the iPhone 13 and games consoles like the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5.
Chip-maker Toshiba recently warned we'll see shortages for at least the next 12 months. The director of semiconductors at the company told Bloomberg (opens in new tab): "The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year. In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023."
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