Want to gift an Xbox Series X or S this holiday season? Better buy it now

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Gaming for Microsoft Corp., speaks during the company's Xbox event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, June 10, 2018.
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has bad news for Xbox fans’ holiday hopes — but there may be good news coming in 2023.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Spencer said that he expects demand to outstrip production during the Holiday 2022 season, which could seriously impact shoppers. Despite the fact that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles are currently available, the expectation is that spikes in demand will cause people to come up empty-handed.

There is a small silver lining though. Spencer added that while consumers may see Xbox units selling out as 2022 draws to a close, 2023 may be a different story. He expects that consumers may even be able to see units available in stores, something that has been rare at times since the launch of Microsoft’s next-generation consoles.

Xbox One X|S supply issues 

Xbox Series X on wooden table.

(Image credit: Alex Van Aken | Shutterstock)

Xbox One Series X and Series S consoles have been plagued with shortages off and on since they launched in November 2020. While some of this is due to demand — it is estimated that the two models have sold 12 million combined units as of the end of 2021 — the COVID-19 pandemic definitely factors into the supply issues.

Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global supply chain for tech due to a massive shortage of semiconductors. COVID-19 forced manufacturers to cut back on production and in some cases shut down operations. Simultaneously, demand started to skyrocket, especially since many things from cars to consoles require semiconductors in our modern age.

Unfortunately, the end of this shortage is still pretty far down the line, though there is some relief in sight. J.P. Morgan estimates that more chips will become available towards the end of 2022, which means we could see increased supply in 2023 — in line with Spencer’s expectations. 

Are the Switch and PS5 expecting similar issues? 

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Nintendo Switch definitely had some shortages when COVID-19 first shut things down in 2020. Since then though, things have been smooth sailing for the Nintendo handheld, and stock has been relatively plentiful. We even regularly have a selection of Nintendo Switch deals for those looking to purchase.

Sony’s PS5 is a different story. The next-generation PlayStation has been out of stock more often than not. Currently, we do not even know of any active PS5 restocks, though Amazon has an invite-only drop that we recommend signing up for if you want a unit. Sony even recently announced that the price of the PS5 will increase outside the U.S., a sign that supply chain issues are serious for the Japanese tech giant. The good news for gamers is that Nintendo and Microsoft have both stated they do not anticipate any price hikes on their consoles — for now. 

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.