Earlier this year, Kotaku reported that the global chip shortage—which impacts everything from graphics cards to the PS5—was becoming a “crisis.” Now, Toshiba is warning that the shortage will continue for another year.
According to Bloomberg, high demand and material shortages are making it hard for Toshiba to fulfill its orders. “The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year,” said Takeshi Kamebuchi, one of Toshiba’s directors in charge of semiconductors. “In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023.”
Only a handful of companies are able to make these chips, explains The Wall Street Journal. The foundries are astronomically expensive to set up and orders need to be placed far in advance. An increase in Covid-19 cases, natural disasters like droughts, or an increase in political tensions, such as between the US and China, can all impact the global chip supply chain.
The shortages are impacting companies across the board. GM is going to slash vehicle production due to the issues, reports CNBC, and according to London-based telecoms research consultancy STL Partners (via Telecom TV), the chip shortages could impact telecoms as well, continuing well into 2023.
But what does this mean for game consoles?
While Sony said it can sell over 14.8 million PlayStation 5 units, Bloomberg points out that PS5 production this year is falling behind that of the PS4. Nintendo also is having a difficult time meeting the demand for the Nintendo Switch. On October 8, Nintendo will release an OLED version of the Switch, which could run into shortage issues post launch. “If you are planning to buy Switch OLED model, be sure to get the first batch,” wrote Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki. No doubt, good advice. We should all expect it to continue to be hard to get new game hardware.
“We consider which customer faces the most severe situation, such as the risk of the whole production line halting or the business getting obliterated without the supply of chips,” said Toshiba’s Kamebuchi. “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.”