Microchip shortage stifles video game console market, Winona business

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) — If you’re holiday shopping for teenagers who are into gaming, it may be nearly impossible to fulfill their holiday wishes.

The ongoing chip shortage is making it hard to find and afford the latest video game consoles. Bloomberg reported this year that that chip supply will remain tight until at least September 2022.

At Warpzone Video games in Winona, owner Wyatt Russell isn’t having much luck.

“When it comes to consoles, certainly it’s a huge problem. We’ve probably had a thousand people ask if we have a (PlayStation 5), and we have to say no every time,” Russell said.

“We’ve had a single used PS5 come in since it came out,” he said. “And getting new ones are basically impossible. The only way for us to get PS5s is the way everybody else gets them:Buy them online from other retailers.”

Russell isn’t the only one. Gaming stores nationwide are frustrated.

“A regular PS5 anyway that plays discs retails at $499. I think most people consider that to be a fair price based on what consoles have gone for in the past. But finding one for $499 is practically impossible,” Russell said.

A scarcity like that is typical for a couple months immediately after a release, but both the XBox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been out for over a year.

“We’re already a year in — over a year … if you want to buy one on Amazon or Ebay, it’s basically double,” Russell said.

The chip shortage and sellers snatching up consoles on limited releases are causing this.

Those looking to buy one of those consoles, or even the newest Nintendo Switch, might as well hold off, Russell said.

“If you can live with your last gen console — your PS4, your XBOX one — that’s what I would recommend,” Russell said.

Russell also said that, because of such high demand, older consoles are harder to find, too, and they aren’t any cheaper from when they were the latest model.

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