Do you want to buy a Sony Playstation or Xbox?
Chances are, your wish will be left unfulfilled as there is a global shortage of gaming console supplies. Buyers are returning empty-handed from stores, while eCommerce platforms are also out of stock. Even when the stock comes in, the consoles fly off the shelves within minutes.
However, why are gaming consoles short in supply? Is there any chance of things getting back to normal?
Why Are Gaming Consoles Out of Supply?
A range of reasons is causing the shortage in supply of gaming consoles. The list includes a rise in demand, a lack of raw materials, and more. Let’s dive deeper and find out why gaming consoles are in short supply.
Shortage of Semiconductors
Semiconductors are small chips that power all electronics we use and see around us. Whether it’s a smartphone or electric car, the device needs a semiconductor to function.
Recently, there has been a global shortage in the supply of semiconductors. Gaming consoles also rely on these chips and are affected by the short supply, according to S & P Global Market Intelligence.
Why are semiconductors in short supply?
China is the main manufacturer of semiconductors. Last year, the whole industry suffered a setback due to the months of closure as a result of COVID-19.
As a result, production dipped and created a global shortage.
In addition, the demand for electronics like laptops, routers, and phones increased during the lockdown. More people were working from home and needed the resources to be productive.
Therefore, the demand for semiconductors overshot the supply and affected the production of gaming consoles.
Demand for Gaming Consoles Never Dip
Gaming consoles are always in high demand. As a result, you have to search around in stores and online shops to buy one.
Additionally, the demand for gaming consoles is increasing every year. In 2020, people wanted to buy more consoles as they needed something to entertain themselves during the lockdown.
As a result, Sony ordered 50% more PS 5s last year to meet the increased demand. The company originally planned to manufacture 6 million consoles but increased it to 9 million. Even then, it wasn’t able to satisfy the demand.
Things are not so different in 2021. Buyers are still waiting for new stock to arrive at the stores. However, the shortage of supply may continue well into 2022, especially for international markets.
For example, Sony has already accepted they cannot produce enough consoles unless the demand comes down. As a result, customers in countries like India will experience a shortage in the supply of consoles even in 2022.
An interesting thing to note is that manufacturers often limit the supply of consoles to create a buzz. As per an expert analyst, manufacturers don’t want to satisfy the demand to maintain the initial excitement. This mentality applies to Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo.
Therefore, there may always be a shortage of enough consoles to meet supply.
Purchase Bots Buy All the Stock
A shortage in supply often favors people looking to make a profit on the high demand in the market. Gaming consoles are no different, and profit-seeking sellers use bots to purchase new stock as soon as it arrives.
The sellers are called scalpers, and the bots are referred to as “Grinch bots.” These bots comb different online stores and make bulk purchases as soon as stock arrives.
After that, the scalpers sell the gaming consoles for high profits on platforms like eBay.
The same trend was visible last year too. In November, Walmart blocked 20 million attempts by bots to purchase the PS 5 over the span of half an hour.
However, not every platform was as successful as Walmart in stopping bot purchases. As a result, consoles showed up on eBay or Facebook Marketplace with prices up to $1,000. Some were even asking as much as $5,000 for a single gaming console.
As a result, people are now using browser plugins to track stocks of PS and Xbox. These plugins notify users as soon as new stock arrives to make the most of the opportunities.