p5 chip console supply shortage
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Next-Gen Console Shortages Could Continue into 2023 Based on Scarcity of Once-Common Power Regulating Chips

Still having trouble getting your hands on a PS5? Toshiba expects that the next-gen console supply shortages could continue into 2023, based on trouble the company is having with power regulating chips that the consoles—and virtually all electronics—use. TheGamer reports that these once common chips are now seeing scarcity thanks to shortages of raw materials that have left Toshiba unable to produce the abundance that they once could.

“The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year. In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023.” Takeshi Kamebuchi, a Toshiba director who does semiconductor production, said. “Game console makers are among the customers making the strongest demands and I’m sincerely sorry for their frustration as none of them have a 100% satisfaction.” Even once supply opens up, it will take some time for the production pipelines to get those chips into electronics, including consoles, and then out to customers.

This is a little different than previous reports of semiconductor shortages, which focused primarily on the availability of memory and processors chips like CPUs and GPUs. Shortages on those chips were expected to push the scarcity of next-gen consoles like the PS5 out to early-mid 2022, but Toshiba’s concerns about power regulating chips adds a new wrinkle. If accurate, this would be keeping the PS5 off of shelves for more than two years following its initial launch.

Even some memory and processor semiconductor manufacturers have said they expect shortages to continue into 2023. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) said it expects shortages into and beyond next year. TheGamer also reported that some Hong Kong truck drivers have shifted smuggling operations from hard drugs to semiconductors due to the shortages.

Sony recently said that a redesign of the PS5 could ease the strain, and a new model seems to remove some of the overall material weight, most notably in the heatsink. However, this redesign doesn’t change the availability of the chips, which is the real issue creating a hold up in production. Despite shortages, PS5 sales have been exceptionally high, breaking numerous records for Sony and on track to be the company’s best-selling console should trends continue. Still, it’s hard to know exactly where it stands because sales are limited at the top end by how many Sony can produce, selling out just as fast as they can restock.

[Source: TheGamer]