Chain Reaction: Gaming consoles are nearly impossible to find this Christmas

Chain Reaction: Gaming consoles are nearly impossible to find this Christmas

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A global microchip shortage may be coming between you and getting a next generation PlayStation or Xbox for Christmas.

The Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and even the new Nintendo switch are in short supply and have been for at least the last year.

That’s leaving gamers and gift givers to get creative… or patient.

Deandre Dorsey waited months to get his hands on both gaming consoles. As an avid gamer, he says it’s never been this hard to get a system.

“Never, ever have I had to sit and wait over a year just to purchase something,” Dorsey said. “I remember like for months and months straight I tried to get the PS5. We would get it in the cart and as soon as we put the information in and click, something’s wrong with the order or it sold out and I was like dang it!”

Like many gamers, Dorsey scoured social media sites and retailers online looking for the next restock. There’s even Facebook groups dedicated to the cause. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ameersrestockgroup

 This ‘PS5 Restock’ group has 43 thousand members and counting.

‘Now in stock dot com’ will give you personalized alerts about any restocks of the hard-to-find gaming consoles.

“It was difficult… It was difficult to get my hands on one. But I finally got both!” Dorsey said.

There’s a number of different things working against developers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo including a semi-conductor chip shortage, COVID-19 related closures, global politics and high demand.

Krista Foster, a professor of IT and Analytics at Notre Dame says it’s not something she expects will get better anytime soon.

 “They are still waiting for more chips. They’re limited in what they can produce,” Foster said. “That’s creating a bottleneck in their production process where they’re not able to produce as much as they normally would and at the same time, there’s increased demand.”

Holiday gifts are contributing to that increase in demand as well as more people staying home and investing in their entertainment over the course of the pandemic.

We’re just days away from Christmas, so if you’re still looking for a next gen console to gift… good luck.

 “You might get lucky but you might end up having to pay a premium to get it in time for Christmas for sure,” Foster said.

Sony’s manufacturing partners say to expect the PlayStation 5 to remain in tight supply through 2022. Xbox head Phil Spencer says console shortage will also affect Xbox systems into the new year.

In the meantime, be aware of scalpers marking up prices on the popular gaming consoles for resale.  

Your best bet is to set up stock alerts, and be prepared to check out by creating an account on sites like Best Buy or Walmart or setting up PayPal for fast checkout.

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