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Here’s why you’re (very) unlikely to find a PlayStation 5 before the end of summer or even 2021

Officially, the PS5 has been on the market since November 19, 2020, around ten days after the marketing debut of its rivals, Microsoft’s Xbox Series. In fact, for a huge number of gamers, these consoles have not yet really been released: they have never had the real possibility of acquiring a unit. And to believe the echoes, it is unfortunately not for tomorrow.

Never present on store shelves, perpetually “currently available” on e-shops (even the most powerful), the new Xboxes and especially PS5s have been facing major stockouts since their launch (since their pre-order, in fact) . And the big downside is that although an improvement was initially planned for this end of January, we are, in fine, very far from this scenario. On the contrary, the latest information gleaned by the specialized press rather report a disaster scenario, where it should remain very difficult to find a PS5 before … the end of the summer.

ABF, the substrate of all desires

In question ? A synergy of factors, but let’s start with the most important of all: the shortage of a precious and mysterious component, in this case ABF.

Quèsaco? It is a substrate, a kind of film, used by chip founders (processors) to assemble the different layers together. The generalization of nanogravure on processors has exploded the demand for this type of substrate, which is not produced by a huge number of companies. However, it is required in many techno products: consoles, of course, but also objects that achieve greater margins, are produced in larger volumes and are easier to transport and sell: smartphones, computers, tablets , etc.

In terms of chips, both for Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series, AMD is in charge. However, facing monsters like Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, etc. AMD is not the highest priority customer at the moment for ABF suppliers, who are seeing their order book explode, deadlines are delayed and prices increase, as our colleagues at Tom’s Guide write. What is more on a home console and its confidential margins, not to mention its large size (especially on this generation) and therefore its high cost in terms of transport and storage …

Container price multiplied by 5, memory stranded, …: other difficulties in sight

Add to this major shortage the difficulties in obtaining GDDR5 and GDDR6 memory (those looking for a recent graphics card have been paying the price for this difficulty for several weeks already), a pandemic context which sees the price of sea freight containers explode (multiplied by 5!) and you’re having really, really great difficulty getting your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X right now, but likely still in the months to come. A return to a normalized situation is indeed not to be expected before the summer, at best. New units will be put on the market before that, but in a piecemeal fashion, with thousands of copies here and there. Largely insufficient to meet the demand, even if you mistreat the F5 key of your usual webshops …

The whole industry paralyzed?

This framework does not benefit those who have already got their hands on the PS5 either: given the small fleet of machines in the world, the big publishers (first or third party) have no interest in releasing triple A games so that there are not yet enough people who own the PS5 … There is therefore a very high risk of witnessing a paralysis of the agenda of video game releases. Even though Horizon Zero Dawn 2 and God Of War Ragnarok are still scheduled for 2021, even if they should appear in cross-gen (PS5 + PS4), this disrupted manufacturing context is not really conducive to their release with great fanfare. …

In the decision-making stages of Sony like Microsoft, we must more than ever regret not having waited before releasing this new generation of consoles. Especially since during that time, with a 2020 line-up far from being memorable, Nintendo sells its Switch, published in 2017, by hundreds of thousands of pallets …

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