Microsoft expects Xbox Series X/S supply shortages to continue until the second calendar quarter of 2021.
Xbox Series X/S pre-orders went live in September and initial stock was quickly snapped up, leaving many fans unable to secure one of the new consoles for launch on November 10.
Retailers are expected to sporadically offer limited numbers of Xbox Series X/S consoles for sale as and when they receive new stock, but availability is likely to be few and far between for the foreseeable future.
“I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft’s Q3, calendar Q1,” Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart said at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference last week (transcribed by Seeking Alpha).
“And then when we get to Q4, all of our supply chain continuing to go full speed heading into kind of the pre-summer months. And that’s where I start to — I expect to see a little bit of the demand — the supply profile, meeting the demand profile.
“You’ll be outside of a holiday window. We’ll have supply cranking over the next, what, 4, 5, 6 months. And that’s when I expect to see really that demand profile start to be met, which will be really, really great.”
Just prior to last week’s launch, Amazon sent out a wave of emails warning customers who pre-ordered Xbox Series X that they might not receive the console before Christmas.
A few days later, Xbox’s experiences and platforms boss Liz Hamren acknowledged the shortage of Xbox Series X/S consoles at launch and encouraged those struggling to find one to continue checking retailers.
“We know that not everyone was able to get an Xbox Series X|S immediately and are working tirelessly with our partners around the world to bring as many new consoles to as many of you as possible over time and encourage you to check in with your local retailers directly for more details on availability in your market,” she said.
PlayStation 5 also launched in some territories last week and Sony’s rival console is in short supply too.
In terms of which new console ships more units this holiday season, Xbox boss Phil Spencer believes the victor will be determined by production capacity as demand for the machines is far outstripping availability.
“The number one request I get over and over is, ‘it’s so hard to get the consoles right now’, and you know I really apologise for that,” he said. “I mean, we’ve been building them for almost two months now and trying to get as many into the stores as we can, but the demand is just so high.”
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 scalpers are currently seeking to cash in on heavy demand for the new consoles by selling them at extortionate prices on marketplaces like eBay.
“I think what we’ve seen over the last generation and then heading into now is — and part of this demand profile is, frankly, gaming is just exploding,” Xbox’s Stuart told the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference.
“It’s a $200 billion a year industry. And so kids, adults, male, female, young, old, whatever it is, are games. And so that drives that demand profile, which we love to see.”
Stuart also said Microsoft will announce first-party Xbox Series X/S software pricing “in due time”, and that it wants Bethesda games to be “either first or better or best” on Xbox platforms once the company completes its planned acquisition of ZeniMax Media.