Phil Spencer and the “death by success” of Xbox Series X

The semiconductor shortage has had a huge impact on many industries, including everything from the automotive world to next-generation consoles, among others. PS5 and Xbox Series X have been affected, since its launch, due to the shortage of chips, but in an interesting interview the head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, has commented that this is no longer the key factor in determining why there is an insufficient supply of said console.

According to the Microsoft executive, the most important thing right now is the high demand that exists around Xbox Series X. This means that there is not a problem of low supply, but rather that the supply is so high that they cannot satisfy it completely. These have been his verbatim words:

“When you think about trying to get an Xbox or a new PlayStation on the market right now, you realize that both are very difficult to come by. And it’s not because the offer is smaller than ever. The offer is actually as great as ever, what happens is that demand is exceeding supply«.

This points to a clear case of “death by success”, that is, Microsoft sells more Xbox Series X consoles than it can make. According to Phil Spencer, the Redmond Giant sold more Xbox Series X and Series S consoles than previous generations, and that it has not really managed to cover the enormous demand that exists around the first (Xbox Series S has not had supply problems).

Microsoft has not given specific numbers in a while, but we know that as of October last year it had sold some 8 million units for Xbox Series X and Series S, a very good figure, although insufficient to beat PS5. According to VGA Chartz, PS5 accumulates sales of 17.25 million units, while Xbox Series SX have, together, 11.48 million units.

Sony is winning the war of the new generation, although we must not forget that this is a long-distance race, and that in the end the results could change. If we focus on the previous generation, PS4 was the absolute winner, although Nintendo Switch has become a huge seller by breaking the barrier of the 100 million consoles sold.

Phil Spencer has not given details on when they will be able to normalize supply and demand, but this goal is not likely to be met until at least mid-year.

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