If you’ve been trying to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X over the last year, you know how hard it can be. You might think Microsoft, the company that literally builds and sells Xbox consoles, would be able to snag some, but even it is struggling. So for its latest Halo Infinite tournament, the HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021, the company is using modified dev kits for some tournament players.
Yesterday, the new season of the Halo Championship Series started with a $250k tournament featuring eSport teams from OpTic, G2, eUnited, and Cloud9. But, before the tournament started, 343s esports Lead Tahir Hasandjekic announced on Twitter that some players would have to use dev kits running in retail mode. The reason? “Global supply chain shortage is real,” explained Hasandjekic.
Heads up open bracket players - you'll be playing this weekend on Series X development consoles. They're functionally identical and will be operating in "Retail" mode so it's the exact same experience, they just look a little different.
Why? Global supply chain shortage is real.
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 15, 2021
According to Hasandjekic, the dev kits will be “functionally identical” and the only real difference will be that the dev units look different than retail Xbox consoles.
Getting your hands on next-gen consoles continues to be a hassle, even over a year after the machines launched. With some tech giants like Intel suggesting the chip shortage could continue to cause problems well into 2023 and scalpers continuing to use bots to scoop up the few consoles that do appear online, it’s very like that in 2022 it will remain hard and frustrating to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X at retail price. Scalpers reportedly made some $104 million in profits this past August alone, according to Micheal Driscoll, a data product senior associate lead at consumer finance company Avant.
Even the lead actor in Deathloop needed help from Bethesda to get his hands on a PS5 console so he could actually play the game he helped create and stars in. While I’ve heard from some folks that it’s become a bit easier to buy the cheaper, less powerful Xbox Series S, the other next-gen consoles remain elusive, frustrating many who continue to hunt for the machines online.