According to Toshiba”Console manufacturers are the ones with the highest demands and we apologize for their frustration”.
The semiconductor shortage arising from the pandemic has affected all types of industries, from consumer electronics to automotive, with a special emphasis on video games. The coincidence of a new generation of consoles, the unusual demand due to confinements and the lack of components has led to a shortage of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles that, to this day, companies cannot solve. And component manufacturers warn that production will not return to normal in the next year .
In fact, Toshiba warns that its semiconductor production will not be able to keep up with demand over the next year, perhaps even until 2023 . “The supply of chips will remain tight until at least September next year,” said Takeshi Kamebuchi, director of semiconductor production, in a statement shared by Bloomberg. “In some cases we will find clients that will not be fully served until 2023.”
With demand for electronic components skyrocketing thanks to the pandemic, Toshiba will invest 60 billion yen (~ 460 million euros) over the next 3 years to boost its semiconductor production, and are even considering opening another factory. While investors believe that demand will drop before this investment pays off, the company does not see it that way. “We usually get orders weeks or months in advance, but now we’re getting more and more requests in the middle of the year or beyond. Long-term contracts are piling up on us like we’re new to this,” adds Kamebuchi.
Obviously, the company must assess the situation of each client to prioritize some over others, given the shortage of components. And, in the case of the video game industry, Toshiba apologizes to the console makers , as none are satisfied with the production. “Console manufacturers are among the most demanding customers and I truly apologize for their frustration , as none of them are fully satisfied.”
Those of you who closely follow the monthly sales data in markets such as the United Kingdom, you will have noticed that the most sold machine of each month depends entirely on which console is with the most available stock. Demand is still well above supply, and while PlayStation, for example, has already secured enough chips for the entire year , its manager Jim Ryan says that is not enough to meet a demand that exceeds its most ambitious production plans.