Toshiba Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate that also deals in gaming components such as hard disk drives, power chips, and batteries. One such component of Toshiba which is in very high demand is the power-regulating chips. What we have today, is not such good news as the production of these chips has been delayed. Hence, we could expect a serious shortage this year.
Bloomberg has reported that Toshiba’s power-regulating chips would face a shortage as they will not be able to meet the demand. The director in charge of semiconductors, Mr. Takeshi Kamebuchi, stated that they will not be able to meet the demand till 2022. Also, in some cases, the lack of supply might last up to 2023.
“The supply of chips will remain very tight until at least September next year. In some cases, we may find some customers not being fully served until 2023”, said Kamebuchi.
The reason for this is the material shortages owing to the global pandemic, as well as demand outpacing output capacity. According to Kamebuchi, it is a component that doesn’t require advanced production technology and has been deemed a commodity. These power-regulating chips serve a very important purpose and many electronic devices cannot run without it. Console devices like Sony PS5 might take a great hit because it is a necessary component in their production.
Effects of the Shortage
The biggest hit that this shortage will cause is to the automobile and the gaming industry. Automakers like Toyota Motor and Volkswagen have halted and reduced production due to widespread chip shortages. Mr. Kamebuchi said some chipmakers are prioritizing auto companies in their production, and so has Kamebuchi.
This poses another problem for the gaming console industry as first of all there is a shortage of chips. Secondly, the chips developed will find the automobile industry as their priority. This leaves only a little scope for the gaming market.
Sony Group said it was still confident it can sell more than 14.8 million units of the PlayStation 5 this fiscal year. They wanted to match the production and adoption pace of PS4. Well, it seems like that won’t be happening now and just like the April-June quarter, they will lag behind.
“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”, said Kamebuchi. Toshiba does have plans to make a comeback and meet the demands as early as possible. They have plans to invest 60 billion yen (S$733 million) in the three years to March 2024 to boost the output of power semiconductors.
But till they face material shortages, there is only a little that they, or any other manufacturer, can do. So, there is a big chance that we face a severe shortage of gaming consoles in the upcoming year.
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