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The PlayStation 5 is a bit of a rare beast at the moment - stock of the next-gen console is rare and when it's not being bought by scalpers who want to resell it for huge mark-ups, it's being snapped up by avid Sony fans. So what gives? Why are there so few PlayStation 5s around? Well, it seems to be because of a global shortage of the chips needed to make the console as well as other tech.
A report from The Guardian confronts the issue that many companies are having with stock demands - getting their hands on semiconductors. It was two factors that lead to huge storages of computer chips - the pandemic slowing down production as a whole and the pandemic also causing a surge in consumers demanding tech. Higher demand and lower supply caused problems for tech companies everywhere like Sony, Apple (for the release of the iPhone 12), and General Motors.
As the pandemic settles, the shortage doesn't look like it's going to stop as supplies struggle to make enough semiconductors for all those that need it. According to The Guardian, it can take up to two years to create a new factory capable of the complex production systems needed to make the chips. Those factories will be made probably, but it will take time for suppliers to catch up with the way we're now consuming tech. More people have their own computers, they're investing in home media systems to avoid going out, they need cameras and microphones to communicate, and more.
And Xbox isn't immune either. Although the PlayStation 5 stock issues were more notable as the prices of the console were higher in reselling situations, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't struggling with the demand of the Xbox Series X and S. Microsoft has also confirmed that its newest Xboxes will be in and out of stock until later this year at least.
One media and tech analyst, Neil Campling from Mirabaud, says to The Guardian, that this situation is a "perfect storm of supply and demand factors going on here. But basically, there is a new level of demand that can't be kept up with, everyone is in crisis and it is getting worse." So in short, when buying tech in the near future isn't going to get any easier or cheaper.
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