Chip supply, the problem
All the problem is to go looking for the shortage of chips that has been occurring for almost two years. A crisis that is leading many companies to reject the installation of new SoCs to stay with models from three or more years ago, which have more than proven functionality and, with lower performance, At least they guarantee perfect operation. It is the example of graphics cards, that in the absence of more advanced processors, players are taking refuge in models from two or three years ago.
But of course, that decision that we can make to update our PC, for example, is unacceptable for Sony and Microsoft, who sell cutting edge and graphic power for their new consoles, so they must wait for the shipments of chips they need to trickle down. That, as you can imagine, hampers production capacity, which since the arrival of the next-gen it has always remained well below market demand.
This situation, which was known to all, has become much more convoluted since a few days ago, the CEO of Intel, Pat Gelsinger, appeared on CNBC to tell us that things are not going as expected and that the end of the shortage of chips scheduled for until the first half of 2023 was going to be extended. And, now, the problem seems to be located on another front, such as «limited availability of key manufacturing tools“, which prevents manufacturers from being able to meet demand again.
According to Gelsinger “that is part of the reason why we believe that overall semiconductor shortage will now shift to 2024, from our previous estimates in 2023, just because the shortages have now hit teams and some of those factory lines are going to get more congested.” This will necessarily lead to both Sony and Microsoft, keep making your new consoles at a lower rate than they would like and, therefore, we will continue to be unable to go to stores to buy them normally.
If it is true that until 2024 we would not return to normal, it would mean that we would reach the halfway point of the generation (2023-2024) without having reached the minimum required sales figures that could be expected from PS5 and Xbox Series X in optimal market conditions . Which leads us to ask ourselves if, if this situation continues, both Sony and Microsoft will consider extending the seven years that these generations usually last for another longer life cycle that could last until 2029 and, perhaps, 2030. What do you think?