The next generation consoles cause frustration


 The Xbox Series X, released November 10, 2020. (SPENCER MOORE/Ethic News photo)

The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles are in short supply. While almost every console gaming fan wants one of these illustrious machines, the process of obtaining one, even after nearly a year of being on the market, is ridiculously hard.

Unfortunately, what seems to have happened is that a perfect storm of a number of elements come together to make purchasing one a nightmare for the video game consumer. These elements include resellers, semiconductor shortages and the unprecedented level of demand.

First and foremost, the reason that most consumers blame for having so few of these consoles in supply at retailers around the country, is because of the resellers, commonly referred to as scalpers. As evidenced by popular reselling websites, these scalpers are selling these hot ticket consoles at a ridiculous premium of up to $1,800 when the retail price is $300 to $500.

With so many consumers either unable or unwilling to pay these incredibly high markups, many people throughout the world have expressed their frustration with these resellers. Along with this, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the majority of retail chains across the nation to switch to online-only purchases for these consoles opening up an opportunity for scalpers to set up bots to buy them in mass.

Another massive cause for these console shortages has been the worldwide semiconductor shortage. This shortage was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requiring a greater number of mobile phones, laptops, personal computers, webcams  and more to be produced so people can stay connected along with making work run smoothly while being at home.

The majority of the semiconductors in the world are assembled by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or known as TSMC. They are responsible for 54 percent of the semiconductor production in the world. With a lack of a key component, the manufacturing arms of Microsoft and Sony cannot produce these devices.

An additional reason that the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X|S are difficult to purchase is due to the unprecedented level of demand for each of these consoles. In Winter of 2013, the season in which the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles launched, the Playstation sold over 4.2 million units, while the Xbox One sold just over 3 million units.

However, in 2020, the Playstation 5 sold over 4.5 million units and the Xbox series consoles sold around 4.1 million units, according to GameSpot. This doesn’t sound like much, however, with all of the above factors, demand is a huge part of availability for the masses.

A possible solution for this issue lies in these companies producing more machines for the masses.

Nathan Upshaw, a senior at Redlands East Valley High School, says, “They should have waited until they had a good few million units to ship, to meet the demand.”

When these companies produce more units, the demand will be met.

Another possibility for a higher purchase rate for these consoles is due to the lowering of their price, especially with the scalped console prices.

Ruben Lara, a freshman at Redlands East Valley High School, says, “If the consoles were lower in price, there would be a higher adoption rate.”

Purchasing a Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X|S has been difficult, and likely will continue to be, but fans of these respective devices should be aware of the reasons behind the difficulty. Whether it be scalpers, semiconductors or high demand, there will always be a barrier for consumers to get these highly demanded items.

Categories A&E

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