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PS5, Xbox Series X Stock Shortages Explained By AMD

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Players are still struggling to get their hands on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and processing chip manufacturer AMD has a pretty good idea why supplies are so low. Sure enough, retailers have been selling out of the current generation of consoles almost as fast as they can get them in stock, leaving hopeful gamers without a new system even months after they first launched in November.

The primary culprit for this shortage has been online scalpers using bots to snatch up PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles so they can resell them at bloated prices on sites like eBay, but this is only a partial explanation for the overall lack of consoles reaching players. After all, stores can only sell what they've been delivered, and both Sony and Microsoft have noted a serious slowdown in manufacturing new units over the past few months. Now, the CEO of AMD has an answer for why it’s been so hard to make more consoles during this time.

As reported by tech website Tom’s Hardware yesterday, AMD recently reported its profits for the last quarter of 2020, as well as discussing its best-selling products and plans for a future buyout of fellow technology corp Xilinx later this year. Among these topics, AMD CEO Lisa Su explained that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the two-year-long trade war between the US and China caused issues in developing the company’s Ryzen 5000 processors, which in turn has led to shortages of the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles that are powered by them. As a result, Su expects a "tightness" of supplies leading well into 2021, which isn’t helped by the chips AMD does have in its inventory being in various stages of construction.

Despite this production slowdown, AMD has enjoyed an uptick in revenue over the past year, making $3.24 billion throughout 2020's final quarter, a good 53% higher than the previous year. This was likely helped by the company’s new Radeon RX 6800 XT computer processors, which hit the PC market during the holiday season. The company already has its sights set to the horizon for 2021, as the Acer Nitro 5 laptop is said to feature a yet unannounced AMD processor.

Processors like AMD's offerings are the lifeblood of any console or gaming PC, allowing for graphical features like the current generation's revolutionary ray-tracing technology. As such, it stands to reason that a shortage in processors would lead to a shortage in consoles, especially given the complications in delivering these parts thanks to COVID-19. Hopefully, AMD's issues in manufacturing and delivery are resolved as soon as possible, but this means that players might have to wait a while longer to get their hands on that ever-elusive PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X system.
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