PS5 restock scrambles won't get any easier — shortages could last until 2022

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Microsoft/Sony)

The PS5 restock rat race is a maddening mishmash of scalpers, bots and low inventory. If you're waiting for the console scramble to simmer down, don't hold your breath. A semiconductor shortage is threatening another frustrating year of scarcity not only for the PS5 but also the Xbox Series X.

Pundits initially predicted that the PS5 and Xbox Series X shortage would ease some time this year, but now, experts foresee the console shortage lasting until the latter half of 2022. Yikes!

PS5 and Xbox Series X shortage will continue well into 2022

In early January, we reported that PS5 production was poised to skyrocket by 40% due to alleviation in one of the primary bottlenecks of the current-gen Sony console: the custom CPUs. AMD contracted with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to deliver a dramatic boost in PS5 processor production to disseminate more consoles to PS5 hopefuls.

However, a semiconductor shortage seems to be putting a dent in Sony's plans. Microsoft isn't doing so hot, either. The global chip crunch isn't just impacting consoles. Laptop makers, car giants and smartphone companies also can't get their hands on necessary electronic components, causing a slash in production.

In an interview with CNET, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon stated that the semiconductor shortage is worrisome. "If you asked me, 'what keeps me up at night?' right now, it is this supply chain crisis we're having in the semiconductor industry. It is causing a lot of stress as the supply chain was not prepared to deal with the growth."

Why is there a semiconductor shortage? As the demand for tech surges during the pandemic, component manufacturers can't keep up. It's gotten so bad, President Joe Biden felt compelled to step in to rectify the chip crunch, signing an executive order to investigate the vulnerabilities in the semiconductor production process. 

Despite Biden's attempts to rescue the tech industry, according to a Bloomberg report, Taiwanese panel supplier Innolux warned that the PS5, Series X and other products that require SoCs are SOL until next year.

“Supply at foundries is very tight. Capacity in the chip packaging and testing space is also tight,” Innolux President James Yang said. “The chip supply bottleneck could still remain unresolved in the first half of 2022.”

If you're still hoping to secure a PS5 or Series X at a reasonable price, your only options are to somehow snag a console before the bots get to them or patiently wait for the supply to increase. We often cover PS5 and Series X restocks, so keep an eye out for flash-in-the-pan opportunities to snatch a console of your own.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!