Japanese publication Nikkei has reported that Sony Corporation is considering building a chip factory in Japan in partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in order to combat the ongoing chip shortage.
Chip supply constraints have hurt numerous companies in the wider tech industry amid the pandemic, and Sony isn’t immune to the issue. While PlayStation 5 consoles only constitute a small portion of the equation, SIE has often quoted chip shortage as the reason for PS5 supply woes. Manufacturing of Sony’s other products that utilize chips, like cameras, has also been affected.
Nikkei claims (reported via Reuters) that if things go ahead, the plant will be set up in Kumamoto, southern Japan, and the Japanese government is apparently willing to invest 800 billion yen ($7.15 billion) into the project. Both Sony and TSMC declined to comment on the report.
Sony Interactive Entertainment recently claimed that it has acquired enough chipsets for the PS5 to reach its current fiscal year’s sales target. However, Japan’s Toshiba Corporation sounded the alarm in September, stating that “the supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year,” and that some customers, including console manufacturers, will not be “fully served until 2023.”
Interestingly, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently weighed in on the issue, and while he doesn’t dismiss chip shortage as one of the reasons for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S supply constraints, he opined that there are multiple “pinch points” in the process of getting the consoles out to consumers, and the shortages can’t merely be blamed on chip supply.