Since launch, one of the characteristics associated with PlayStation 5 it was its rarity and the difficulty of consumers to find one, even with a pre-order made well in advance.

Even before the launch, however, Sony complained of a shortage of components that had slowed down the production of PlayStation 5. The pandemic had only exacerbated this situation, leading to the now infamous lack of stock in stores around the world. 

But now this crisis seems to have reached disastrous proportions, and is impacting not only PlayStation, but also its main competitor Xbox. Blame the pandemic, increased demand and a commodity crisis.

A global crisis

Il Guardian places this issue in the broader context of a crisis of underproduction of computer components of all kinds, in an in-depth article that goes far beyond the world of consoles.

Basically, he explains in the article Neil Campling, media and tech analyst of Mirabaud, the trend exhibited throughout 2020 by the chip market has not reversed, on the contrary it is getting worse. Not only have the manufacturing industries in the sector not significantly improved their productivity, but the demand for components continued to rise. 

The most likely cause of this spike is the pandemic, which has prompted many to equip themselves with more performing computers or to update their hardware in order to better adapt to work or study from home. But behind the crisis there is above all a lack of raw materials, semiconductors, materials such as silicon which are fundamental components of many microchips.

A question of state

And if in the past year the market has suffered and is still suffering, the future does not seem to offer better scenarios. Campling warns that there is no sign of improvement, and that the crisis is deepening every day. This will inevitably cause an increase in prices of electronic devices in the short term.

The situation is such that many governments are taking steps to empower the technology manufacturing industry. Be the United States, with an executive order from the president, who the European Union, with the 2030 Digital Compass project, they are trying to push production in order to make up for these shortcomings.

Meanwhile consumers are falling victim to speculators who empty the consoles of the shops and then resell them to inflated prices.