Microsoft expects demand for the Xbox Series X and S to exceed supply through the first quarter of next year. Microsoft would not be able to meet the demand until April. The new consoles are currently sold out pretty much everywhere.
Tom Stuart, the chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Xbox division, spoke at an investor conference about the shortages. A transcript is on Seeking Alpha. According to Stuart, the deficits will persist into the first quarter of next year. He expects that only from April 2021 will the supply be attuned to the demand for the new consoles.
The financial chief states that the shortages are due to the growing market for gaming; it is currently said to be an industry involving $ 200 billion annually. The CFO says nothing about production capacity. It is likely that the shortages are related to the limited capacity of, for example, chip manufacturer TSMC, which makes the 7nm chip in the consoles.
Sony also has its PlayStation 5 console chip made at TSMC and AMD’s Ryzen and Epyc processors are also produced on that 7nm process, as well as the upcoming Radeon RX6000 video cards. Demand for the PS5 is also outpacing supply and the same is true for AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 processors. The demand for Radeon RX 6000 video cards, which will be on sale from Thursday, is also expected to be higher than the supply.
Nvidia said earlier that the shortages of the RTX 3080 and 3090 are expected to continue until next year. The GPUs on those video cards are not made by TSMC, but by Samsung using an 8nm process.
Bethesda games ‘best on Xbox’
The conversation also asks whether Microsoft has plans to release the games from those studios exclusively for Xbox consoles after the Bethesda acquisition. Stuart indicates that Microsoft stimulates crossplay on various platforms and has no intention to remove all Bethesda games from parties such as Sony and Nintendo. The CFO does say that the intention is that the games will work ‘the first, better or the best’ on Microsoft platforms.
Stuart also indicates that Microsoft will ‘keep looking around’ for new acquisitions. The CFO emphasizes that the purpose of the acquisitions is to expand the range of games available through the Game Pass offering, in order to make that subscription more attractive. Microsoft currently has more than 15 million Game Pass subscribers.