It’s been about half a year since the PS5 launched, and while it’s never abnormal for a console to be hard to find, given how active the scalpers and such are when a new console is announced, the PS5 and Xbox Series X have been abnormally hard to get a hold of. One might assume that the reason for this is the pandemic, a
nd according to a new report by Bloomberg
, that assumption is correct… but if you thought the issue was factories closing down, then you’re actually mistaken.
The issue isn’t that there aren’t people to put the devices together: the issue is that there aren’t enough parts
. Specifically, display drivers and the similarly tiny and previously anonymous power management chip. It’s not even that these parts are hard to find or expensive — on average they cost about a buck each — it’s that companies assumed there would be less demand for computers during a pandemic, not more
, so they under-stocked themselves. Additionally, old manufacturing methods, combined with the fact that a growing number of devices need these otherwise simple parts, means that there’s a lot of stuff that needs these cheap parts but not a lot of places making them.
And apparently, the companies behind them have no interest in boosting production anytime soon, because, and I quote, “existing lines are fully depreciated and fine-tuned for almost perfect yields, meaning basic display drivers can be made for less than a dollar and more advanced versions for not much more.” So even when the pandemic ends, we’re going to be stuck waiting for chips for a the foreseeable future.
All in all, we’re probably going to be going without getting our hands on PS5’s and Xbox Series X’s for a while. But that’s okay: it’s not like there are many games on them anyway.