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Xbox Series X and Series S shortages continue as Microsoft asks AMD for help

Published Jan 4th, 2021 2:14PM EST
Xbox Series X restock
Image: Microsoft
  • In a recent interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft has “all of the assembly lines going” to make more Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.
  • Xbox Series X and Series S consoles have been hard to find since they launched on November 10th, and now Microsoft is asking AMD to help meet demand.
  • Far more Xbox Series X and Series S consoles should be available in the spring.

Finding a next-generation console last year was nearly impossible. While millions of consumers got their hands on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in the weeks after they launched, millions more are still searching as 2021 begins. It may be a while before those searches bear any fruit, but in the latest episode of the official Xbox Podcast, Xbox boss Phil Spencer reassured fans he and the team are “working as hard as we can” to make more consoles.

Days after the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launched on November 10th, Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart said that he expected shortages to continue into the first quarter of 2021. Supply should start to meet demand in the spring, but in the meantime, Microsoft is looking to its component suppliers for help.

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“It is really just down to physics and engineering,” Spencer said in response to people who ask why they didn’t make more. “We’re not holding them back. We’re building them as fast as we can. We have all of the assembly lines going. I was on the phone last week with Lisa Su at AMD, “How do we get more? How do we get more?” So it’s something that we’re constantly working on, but it’s not just us. I think gaming has really come into its own in 2020.”

Spencer also pointed out that Sony is having trouble keeping the PS5 in stock, while AMD and Nvidia are struggling to make enough of their latest PC graphics cards to meet the insanely high level of demand.

“I mean there’s just a lot of interesting gaming right now,” Spencer said. “Console sales are just a sign of that. Game sales are a sign of that. Hardware is in short supply, but we’re working as hard as we can. The teams are incredibly dedicated. I appreciate people’s patience as we work to build more.”

Even without the pandemic, finding a next-generation console over the holidays was going to be exceedingly difficult with the rash of scalpers snapping up stock every time it went live on retailer websites. Being able to sell the consoles in physical stores might have made a difference, but until retailers come up with a better system to stop scalpers from buying up thousands of units to resell at a huge markup, this is going to keep happening.

If you want to listen to the full interview between Larry Hyrb and Phil Spencer, here’s the video:

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.