Phil Spencer was on hand to talk about all things Microsoft in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He was asked about the supply situation for the Xbox Series of consoles, and he has good news on the Xbox Series S, and maybe not so good news on the Xbox Series X.
Here’s what Phil Spencer had to say on the topic, slightly edited for clarity:
“The supply chain has improved for us, specifically on the Xbox Series S. You can find them on the shelves in stores, which is great. That’s the position we want to be in, where we have weeks on hand of inventory. People can walk in in the holiday times and find a gift. I think on Xbox Series S we will be in good shape this holiday, that we’ll have ample supply.
I think our larger console, the $ 499 Xbox Series X will likely still have some supply issues in certain markets. Demand is just incredibly high. We’ve sold more consoles at this point in the generation than any prior Xbox generation.
So while the problem gets presented often as a supply chain problem and a supply issue, and clearly we’d love to be doing better on supply, it has really been as much a demand issue that customers are just voting with their feet and they find good value in gaming as a form of entertainment.
And, it’s been proven over the years, that at a time of economic uncertainty for families, that gaming is somewhat resilient to those issues. Because you find that playing video games is fairly cost effective for a family, and it’s fun.”
There’s a lot to take in from Phil’s statements, but of course, it’s mainly good news to learn that Xbox hardware is doing so well. In fact, it’s pretty surprising to learn that Xbox Series has outsold its sibling consoles at this point in its lifecycle. Most people probably still remember the Xbox 360 being dominant over the PlayStation 3 during most of the duration of the seventh generation of consoles, and that they probably outsold Xboxes to this very day. It really drives the point home, that being dominant in the market isn’t the full story, and Microsoft is probably happier with the money Xbox is making now, than it was at that time.
In an interview last August, Phil noted that supply issues would be continuing for the entire Xbox Series family. With this update, it seems that Microsoft was able to catch up a bit more on demand for the Xbox Series S. While many gamers pledged to stay loyal to buying games in physical form, in the current market conditions digital games emerged as the dominant way of buying games, and the digital console is suited for this market.
With that in mind, it is a shame that current discourse seems to be how Xbox Series S is holding back this current generation of video games from being better than they are. Microsoft has declared that they will improve the console’s performance, but we have yet to see that translate to something that can be felt in games like Gotham Knights. Hopefully, those improvements come in such a way that developers don’t have to work around them, and they could be felt in all the games the Xbox Series S runs.