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Buying a PS5 or Xbox Series X probably won't get easier before 2023

PS5 and Xbox Series X restocks could tricky until 2023
(Image credit: Future)

We already know chip shortages are making it tricky to find a PS5 restock or Xbox Series X restock, but Toshiba has revealed some specifics as to why the situation probably won't improve before 2023. 

The electronics firm said its power regulating chips, which are used by the new games consoles, are and will will continue to be in short supply for the foreseeable future.

“The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year,” said Takeshi Kamebuchi, a director in charge of semiconductors at one of Toshiba’s units, reported Bloomberg. “In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023.”

To be clear, this isn’t just a problem for the  Xbox Series X and PS5. A shortage of power regulators — something that Bloomberg describes as “inexpensive but essential” — impacts other consumer electronics and cars too. But console makers are especially hit, something which saw Kamebuchi apologized for to the industry as a whole. 

“We consider which customer faces the most severe situation, such as the risk of the whole production line halting or the business getting obliterated without the supply of chips. Game console makers are among the customers making the strongest demands and I’m sincerely sorry for their frustration as none of them have a 100% satisfaction," said Kamebuchi. 

According to the report, “some console customers” have indicated that they may have to change their circuit board designs so that they’re less reliant on the components in question. Console designs undergo design revisions a number of times over their lifespan, and indeed the PS5 just underwent major surgery, losing 300g of heatsink in the process.

But as Bloomberg explained, power regulating chips are a particularly tricky part to replace thanks to the safety certification role they play. “Console makers can’t just go to the next semiconductor maker and ask for the same part,” the report said. And even if they could, you’d imagine that the chip shortage is so widespread that the timeframes offered would be no better. Not to mention the fact that this is just one component’s shortages — other parts could be equally impacted. 

In other words, expect the stock shortages to last for some time yet. But we have some tips, especially our staff writer  Rory Mellon who's told his story of a year-long quest tracking of PS5 pre-orders, sales and restocks, and building knowledge on how to secure a PS5

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.