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Toshiba warns semiconductor shortage will continue to affect console makers

"Game console makers are among the customers making the strongest demands and I’m sincerely sorry for their frustration as none of them have a 100 percent satisfaction."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 3, 2021

2 Min Read
(Photo: https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/us/semiconductor.html)

Toshiba has warned semiconductor supply shortages could affect console production for at least another year.

As reported by Bloomberg, the company said that in some instances, supply would be limited right through until the end of 2022. The issue is being blamed on material shortages and demand that is far exceeding the company's output capacity.

"The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year," said Takeshi Kamebuchi, a director in charge of semiconductors at Toshiba. "In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023."

Offering some context as to the level of demand, Kamebuchi explained Toshiba usually receives orders weeks and months in advance, but is now receiving long-term inquiries "for half a year into the future and beyond."

Commenting specifically on those clients within the games industry, Kamebuchi said that some console makers will undoubtedly be affected by the shortages, and that Toshiba is having to prioritize contracts based on which businesses are most at risk.

"We consider which customer faces the most severe situation, such as the risk of the whole production line halting or the business getting obliterated without the supply of chips," continued Kamebuchi. "Game console makers are among the customers making the strongest demands and I’m sincerely sorry for their frustration as none of them have a 100 percent satisfaction."

Earlier this year, President Biden ordered a 100-day review of semiconductor supply chains after companies including Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft explained the issue had been affecting hardware production for around a year.

In May, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa updated investors on the situation, and said that Switch production was now "more uncertain" as a result of the disruption. The company is hoping to sell 25.5 million consoles during the current fiscal year.

"Although we are currently striving to produce as many units as possible, the fact is that our production plans are more uncertain than they were at the beginning of previous fiscal years," said Furukawa.

"Our full-year sales plan is based on the premise that we can secure the materials necessary for production, but if we are able to produce more units, we will work hard to meet the strong demand, and to be able to ship and sell those units."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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