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Xbox Series X supply will remain ‘constrained’ in 2021

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Demand is still high

a three-quarters view of the top of the Xbox Series X, with a green piece of plastic visible just beneath the system vents Image: Microsoft

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles will remain in short supply due to “significant demand,” Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said during a quarterly earnings call.

Demand for the Xbox consoles (as well as Sony’s competing PlayStation 5) has been high since its release in November 2020. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic changed the way people shopped for new consoles — moving the entire system online. According to reports, actual customers had to compete against retail bots that quickly bought up available stock. Throughout the holiday season and into 2021, retail businesses have continued to release new consoles in small numbers to eager customers.

Hood said this cycle will continue: “In gaming, we expect continued strong engagement on the Xbox platform and significant demand for the Xbox Series X and S that will still be constrained by supply.”

During the earnings call, Microsoft executives said that Microsoft’s earnings during the quarter were up 51%, with the hardware sales accounting for 86% of it. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said gaming revenue surpassed $5 billion.

“The launch of Xbox Series X and Series S was the most successful in our history, with the most devices ever sold in a launch month,” Nadella said. “Game developers are benefitting, too, as they turn to us to reach more players and scale the games using the power of our cloud. We exceeded $2 billion in revenue from third-party titles this quarter for the first time.”

Similarly, in 2020, Sony said demand for the PlayStation 5 console was “unprecedented,” promising more consoles “before the end of the year.”