Microsoft ‘overwhelmed’ by frequent shortage in XBox consoles

Staying home and gaming is definitely a trend during the pandemic, but it has been hard for people to get their hands on the latest consoles.

Since their November launches, Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles have generated greater demand than the companies can keep up with, frustrating customers who are carefully monitoring for restocks and second-hand listings for the consoles.

Microsoft Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer acknowledged the Xbox shortage in a podcast interview last week with Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb, and said he has sought help from chipmaker AMD (AMD) in making more units available.

AMD makes the processor and graphics chips for the Xbox consoles.

He did not go into detail about how AMD might help make more units available more quickly, and AMD did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment.

Xbox executives have previously said the shortage could last until this spring.

While some analysts speculated in November that Microsoft (MSFT) (and Sony (SNE)) had intentionally limited production of the consoles to help maximize profits, Spencer said on the podcast that is not the case for the Xbox.

Spencer noted that when it comes to demand, gaming has been no exception.

AMD in October announced record quarterly revenue for the three months ending in September — posting revenue growth of 56% compared to the year-ago quarter — thanks to strong demand for products such as those that power personal computers, gaming systems, data storage and cloud computing, tools that have become even more essential during the pandemic.

“I think gaming has really come into its own in 2020,” Spencer said.