For more than a decade, the global chip shortage has had a huge impact on the technology industry. However, a wave of gaming hardware news and changes over the past week has demonstrated that things aren’t going to improve anytime soon. Both large and small gaming companies will feel the pinch well into next year. It's not just Sony or Microsoft's next-generation consoles that might be difficult to obtain.
The first company to start the news waterfall was Nintendo, which revised its Nintendo Switch sales forecasts for the fiscal year by 1.5 million on November 4, "due to global semiconductor shortage effects." Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo's president, said that there has been no significant improvement in the financial situation since April (which began in April). According to Ko Shiota (GM of Nintendo's Technology Development Division), the company is currently "evaluating alternative components" and "reviewing our designs." However, it's not clear if any changes it might be looking at might make it easier for Switch owners to get one on the shelves. You'll have to wait until next year if you don’t own one of the Switch-compatible N64 Controllers.
Valve's Steam Deck handheld gaming computer was delayed by two months, from a December launch to a February launch. The November 11th launch was postponed. Valve stated in a blog post that they tried to resolve the global supply chain problems, but components aren’t arriving at our manufacturing plants in time to meet our initial launch dates. We knew that Steam Deck supply would be limited even before the delay. The estimated order availability dropped to 2022 shortly after initial reservations went live. Even those who had ordered by December 2021 will have to wait.
Sony anticipates that there will be fewer PS5s
According to Bloomberg, Sony expects to produce fewer PS5s. Bloomberg reports that the company initially forecasted it would assemble 16,000,000 consoles during the current fiscal year, which ends in March. However, now it expects to produce "about 15,000,000". Since its launch in November 2020, the PS5 has been difficult to find. Bloomberg was told by Sony's manufacturing partners that it will likely be hard to meet Sony's 22.6 million PS5 sales goal in the next fiscal.
Panic's Playdate handheld was extended from 2021 to 2022. According to Panic, the delay in the initial units was caused by faulty batteries. However, the company claims that components for future Playdates can be difficult to find. For Playdates in 2022, the current CPU of the Playdate is not available. The company has therefore had to redesign its main board and replace it with a more available CPU. Panic warns that there are "a lot of other part shortages that we're trying outsmart right currently" so if that doesn't happen, it might be difficult to get a Playdate in the future. To ensure your spot in the line for a Playdate, it is advisable to preorder one as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the shifts we know about.
These are just some of the recent shifts we know about. There could be more issues or delays behind-the scenes that we don't know about. Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Xbox boss, warned in September of continuing shortages and stated that Xbox supply problems will continue into 2022. The problem extends beyond gamers, as Intel claims that there could be a shortage of chips until 2023. Apple, which is known for its control over its supply chain, took a $6 billion loss last quarter due to constraints. Although you can still order Apple products online now, it's less likely that you will get most gaming hardware by Christmas.
Despite the delays, there is one bright spot. Analogue founder Christopher Taber, CEO of Analogue, told The Verge that the Analogue Pocket retro handheld was "still on track" for a December release. This is despite delays due to supply chain issues. You might be too excited to hold the Pocket until you get it, even if Sony and Nintendo are having problems.