It’s become much easier to get an Xbox Series X as of late and it’s apparently due to Microsoft getting chip priority.
There have been signs over the past few months that the shortage of Xbox Series X/S consoles is largely over. It managed to outsell the PlayStation 5 over Christmas in the UK and in February in Europe. Not necessarily because it’s more popular but because it’s more available.
The console shortages of the last few years are all down to the global chip shortage, which has already been predicted to last until well into 2023. So, how come the Xbox Series X/S is easier to get now? Unsurprisingly, the answer is money.
Microsoft itself hasn’t confirmed this, but it’s rumoured that it has paid for priority at factories, allowing it to increase production. Which is exactly what Sony is believed to have done during the launch of the PlayStation 5.
XboxEra co-founder and insider Nick ‘Shpeshal’ Baker claims that this time last year he learned that Microsoft would have more consoles available in the autumn, which it did, and was recently given permission to repeat that information in public.
‘Microsoft paid, effectively, to be able to increase their production and have more stock,’ says Baker on the most recent episode of the XboxEra podcast, which you can hear below from the 1:15:24 mark. ‘To me, smart investment. This is the time to do it. You want more subscribers on Game Pass, you’re not going to get them if people can’t have a console.’
It’s not just Microsoft that’s attempted to alleviate the chip shortage. Towards the end of last year, there was word of Sony setting up its own chip factory, with the Japanese government willing to help pay for it.
Said factory isn’t expected to be up and running until 2024, so that’s not going to address the problem in the short term.
At the beginning of the year, analysts predicted that the PlayStation 5 would outsell the Xbox Series X in 2022. Time will tell if that will still be the case, although the Nintendo Switch is still predicted to come out on top either way.
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