Tim Stuart (Xbox’s chief financial officer) says the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 will continue to see shortages in 2022.
Although the problem is not so significant in regions like Eastern Europe (where even the pre-tax minimum monthly wage is barely scraping the new consoles’ price), it is pretty standard in the West that there are not enough of the consoles launched in November 2020 in stores. Gamesindustry reported on a conference call with investors that Stuart attended.
Stuart cited two new reasons behind the stock shortage: first, China is starting to enforce more lockdowns due to increasing COVID cases, and second, the elevated logistic pricing is pressuring margins. Manufacturers have a limited supply of parts, but there is a positive side to the situation: Xbox Series S sales are up (and not just in Japan, we wrote about it earlier; space constraints played a role there, along with convenience) in Europe and the US (although the Xbox Series X’ market share has also increased in these two regions), while Sony’s market share has fallen somewhat due to the PlayStation 5 stock shortage.
Although Microsoft does not give details of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S sales, Stuart seems to make sense, as the “little brother”, along with the Nintendo Switch, is often in stock. Sony has said before that it would start production of the PlayStation 5 in earnest this year (we have written about this before, as well as pointing out that the PS5 is lagging behind the PlayStation 4 if we compare the same period in their respective lifecycle), but if Microsoft believes that the dire situation will persist this year, Sony may be overly optimistic.
The stock shortage caused by the pandemic has been going on since 2020 and has also affected the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series. So we’re not going to get out of it any time soon, no matter how hard we try.