PS5 and Xbox Series X shortages could last until the end of 2021, says new report

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PS5 and Xbox Series X stock shortages could continue until late 2021 due to the global chip shortage, according to a new report.

Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that the global chip shortage, which has affected PS5 and Xbox Series X chip-maker AMD, may see console shortages continue until the end of the year. 

According to Bloomberg sources "familiar with the matter", the gaming hardware industry is "bracing for supply to get worse before it gets better in 2021" which console stock potentially affected until Christmas.

The report claims that the gaming industry, and other "smaller-volume buyers", may continue to be affected by the shortages until this time as big tech manufacturers such as Apple and Huawei have been hoarding the components, with Will Bright, co-founder and chief product officer at Drop, telling Bloomberg the situation is a "chip stockpiling arms race".

Xbox Series X

(Image credit: Micosoft)

Why the shortages?

PS5 and Xbox Series X stock shortages have been an issue since the consoles released in November 2020. The issue is primarily down to a global chip shortage, a result of disrupted supply chains and increasing demand for gaming hardware caused by Covid-19. The issue has affected a myriad of tech products.

 Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X use custom chips produced by AMD, Zen 2-based CPUs and RDNA 2-based GPUs, so this shortage has meant less consoles have been able to be produced - resulting in a limited amount of stock.

AMD warned last month that exceptional demand driven by the pandemic will continue to affect its ability to produce Xbox Series X and PS5 chips. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su admitted that shortages will continue until the middle of 2021 during the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2020 results (opens in new tab). Income from the custom console chips brought in $1.28 billion (thanks, Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)), but Su expects to see “tightness” throughout the first half of 2021 until more production capacity becomes available.   

While chip shortages may continue until mid-2021, the knock-on effect of the disruption - and the bigger tech companies grabbing up chips - could be why Bloomberg's sources are expecting shortages until the end of the year.

As it stands, it's still extremely difficult to get your hands on PS5 or Xbox Series X stock due to shortages - a fact not helped by the number of scalpers hoovering up units when they do become available.

Microsoft has recently warned that  Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S stock will continue to be ‘constrained’ until at least March 31, after recording the 'most successful launch' in its history.

Sony has also boasted similar record-breaking sales for PS5. However, with consumers restricted to buying online only, it's prevented many from picking up consoles from brick and mortar stores, which could have placated some of the online demand. 

We're keeping our eye on all the biggest retailers to help you secure either console when stock does appear, so keep it locked to TechRadar so you can stay updated when the latest drop arrives.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.