PS5 restock woes could get worse

PS5 restock woes continue to frustrate consumers who have been trying for months to secure Sony’s elusive next-gen console, and unfortunately, supply issues look set to get even worse.

The global semiconductor shortage, which is also impacting supply of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, is now reaching “crisis” levels, as the chip becomes even more scarce.

The Guardian reports that things have been “steadily worsening since last year” and that supply can’t keep up with demand. Consumers are also facing the possibility of price rises, and the likelihood is that more products such as TVs, mobile phones and cars will be impacted as a result of the global semiconductor drought.

A new surge in demand is also responsible for the crisis at hand. The pandemic has contributed to a change in consumer habits, with Neil Campling, media and tech analyst at Mirabaud telling The Guardian “There 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.”

Chips ahoy

Sony and Microsoft have struggled to supply retailers with stock of its next-gen consoles, and Microsoft has previously stated that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S could remain difficult to find until at least June.

Console chip manufacturer AMD has also warned that supply will continue to be “constrained” in the future, but has since released a new graphics card into the market.

While finding where to buy a PS5 is one thing, Campling warns that supply shows no sign of catching up with demand, and it could result in higher prices for consumers.

“There is no sign of supply catching up, or demand decreasing, while prices are rising across the chain,” Campling said. “This will cross over to people in the street. Expect cars to cost more, phones to cost more. This year’s iPhone is not going to be cheaper than last year.”

Presidential powers

The global semiconductor shortage has had such widespread implications for manufacturers that President Joe Biden has been spurred into action to address the issue. Biden issued an executive order to supercharge chip manufacturing in the US to make up for the shortfall of semiconductors.

Despite this rather bleak supply forecast, we have seen more PS5 and Xbox Series X trickling into the hands of retailers in recent weeks, particularly in the US. Retailers haven't been helped by bots, scalpers and even thieves trying to cash in on the fevered demand for the new consoles, but even though it's unlikely PS5 and Xbox Series X will be readily available anytime soon, the situation has slowly been getting better.

And while it's still very much a crapshoot as to whether you'll make it to checkout, we're doing everything we can to help you secure the next-gen consoles without paying over the recommended retail price, so stay tuned to TechRadar and follow our in-house stock tracker.

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