Walmart will restock Xbox Series X|S and PS5 consoles today at 2.30pm ET/11.30am PT and 3pm ET/12pm PT, respectively. According to Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at market research firm Niko Partners, Microsoft shipped nearly 3.5 million Xbox Series X|S consoles in 2020, while Sony shipped 4.5 million PS5 consoles.
In January, during Microsoft’s second-quarter earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella said that the Xbox Series X|S had had a record launch. “The launch of Xbox Series X and Series S was the most successful in our history with the most devices ever sold in a launch month,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sony also claimed that the PS5 was “the biggest console launch of all-time.” Both companies expect shortages to continue until the second half of 2021 given the unprecedented consumer demand for the next-gen consoles.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has not guaranteed that the company can meet PS5 demand for the 2021 holiday sales season. In February, he told the Financial Times that “there are very few magic wands that can be waved,” though he said he expected supply to improve throughout the year.
“It will get better every month throughout 2021,” Ryan said. “The pace of the improvement in the supply chain will gather throughout the course of the year, so by the time we get to the second half of , you’re going to be seeing really decent numbers indeed.”
Sony expects to ship more than 14.8 million PS5s, yet global semiconductor shortages may make this goal impossible. AMD, which manufactures chips for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, recently confirmed that supply shortages would continue through the first half of 2021.
The problem is not only affecting the gaming industry. “As more and more devices have gotten digital over the years — cars are the best example — the amount of semiconductor demand has grown to the point that people are battling over capacity that’s available,” Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said.
Last week, the Biden administration said it would review critical supply chains, including semiconductors, over the next 100 days, as well as allocate $37 billion to increase chip manufacturing in the US.
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