Xbox Shipping Delays may Continue until April 2021, warns Microsoft executive

Microsoft may not be able to ship enough new Xbox consoles to meet demand until April next year, one Microsoft executive has said, while another has apologised for shipping delays. 

“The number one request I get over and over is, ‘It’s so hard to get the consoles right now,’ and you know I really apologise for that,” Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said on Saturday, per Video Games Chronicle

The new consoles hit the market 10 November, but shipping dates for some Amazon pre-orders were pushed back until later in November or December.

Microsoft may not be able to make enough consoles to meet all demand until April, Tim Stuart, Xbox’s chief financial officer.

“I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter,” Stuart said, referencing the first quarter of next year, ending 31 March.

The supply shortage had been somewhat expected. In late October, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told investors to expect “very strong demand” when the consoles launched, according to a conference call transcript provided by the company.

Xbox Series S

Hood said she projected a 40% spike in hardware revenue for the holiday quarter.  

Xbox’s production teams will “have supply cranking” over the next six months to be able to meet all demand by April, Stuart told analysts at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, according to a transcript

“And that’s when I expect to see, really, that demand profile start to be met, which will be really, really great,” Stuart said.

Getting the Series X and Series S into gamers’ living rooms is just part of the equation, Jefferies analysts Alex Giaimo and Brent Thill said in a research note sent to clients after the conference.

Xbox launches are now about “more than just the hardware,” and the company’s gaming subscription service — Xbox Game Pass — is the new “North Star” metric, the analysts said. 

Sony’s new console, the PlayStation 5, has faced its own problems. It was nearly impossible to buy the PlayStation 5 at launch, in part thanks to reseller bots.

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