Sony’s new PlayStation 5 (here in the futurezone test) has been on the market since November – actually. Because you can hardly buy the console. Offers from retailers are sold out after a few minutes, and those who do not strike fast enough are left with nothing.
This is nothing unusual at the beginning of a new generation of consoles, but the corona pandemic could mean that it will take a long time before the demand is met. Playstation CEO Jim Ryan recently dampened the hopes of fans to be able to hold a PS5 in their hands by Christmas at the latest.
All need semiconductors
Particular attention is paid here to an unprecedented shortage of semiconductor disks. According to a report by Bloomberg, the entire multimedia industry is currently dependent on a handful of chip manufacturers in Asia. This ranges from smartphones and laptops to cars. According to Qualcomm boss Christian Amon, there is a shortage “across the board”. This shortage could cost automakers $ 61 billion in sales.
One such company is TSMC from Taiwan. It is one of the largest independent producers of semiconductor disks, supplying NVDIA, Qualcomm and AMD, among others. The AMD Zen 2 CPU and AMD RDNA 2 GPU, for example, are used in the PS5 and Xbox Series X from Microsoft, which are also currently not available.
As long as chip production at TSMC is restricted by the Corona crisis, the components cannot be delivered later. While many people around the world were sent to work from home and new devices were bought for it, the demand for components increased at the same time in many companies. And accordingly everyone must now wait for the situation to ease.
Hope for summer
Sony and Microsofts purchase significantly smaller quantities of chips than smartphone manufacturers such as Apple and will therefore have to wait longer for a delivery. Some companies, especially Huawei and Apple, are said to have hoarded large quantities of parts in the summer of 2020.
Nevertheless, Sony CEO Ryan was confident in an interview with the Financial Times: “It will get better every month. The pace at which the supply chain is improving will increase as the year progresses. When we get to the second half of the year we will have decent numbers. ”However, there are only a few“ magic wands ”that can be waved.
Microsoft also believes the situation will improve. Since Microsoft is dependent on the same components as Sony, the development here will probably be very similar. The company told futurezone: “We do not have a specific date from which the consoles will be available again in sufficient numbers, but we expect stabilization by summer. There are no specific batches. We have been delivering consoles to retailers on a weekly basis since November. ”They are working hard to meet the high demand.
This great demand calls for so-called scalpers. With the help of bots, they buy up as many consoles as possible as soon as they are available and sell them on at exorbitant prices. In India, this practice led fans to organize themselves into groups and to immediately block all PS5 scalper offers from popular sales platforms, reports IGN India. The well-intentioned project fails, however, because the scalpers post offers with low prices, but increase the price again when inquiries are made.
Many manufacturers and retailers around the world are struggling with this problem. As countermeasures, they are now offering the PS5 consoles in a bundle with games, reports GamePro. Since the scalper bots are often only looking for individual products because bundles are more difficult to resell, they don’t do the job here. However, this still means a higher price of around 70 euros for the game for really interested customers.
In Austria, the PS5 and Xbox Series X can be bought online at retailers such as Media Markt, Libro, Gamestop and Amazon. The console is still not available in stores. When the consoles will go on sale is not known beforehand, they are usually sold out after a few minutes.