Semiconductor price increase could make PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles harder to buy

A chip price increase from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. could make it harder for players to acquire PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.

According to Nikkei Asia, the price spike has already affected some TSMC customers. Others will have to wait until next year, according to DigiTimes.

As Nikkei notes, an increase in production costs typically means an increase in consumer costs. Nonetheless, it’s unclear how much consumer-facing prices will rise, or which products will be affected. Semiconductors from TSMC are found in everything from cars to cell phones to computers. (Read: TSMC is planning to develop 2nm process; Taipei greenlights project)

This includes next-gen consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, which use AMD chips manufactured by TSMC.

The PS5 comes in two flavors: normal ($500, or Php25,000) and no-disc ($20,00). Xbox Series consoles come in the more powerful X ($500, or Php25,000) and the less powerful S ($300, Php15,000). Sony and Microsoft haven’t announced price increases yet in response to TSMC’s hike, and it’s unlikely either will implement one. To date, no console manufacturer has ever raised costs for its base products, barring substantial design overhauls like last gen’s PS4 Pro and Xbox One X upgrades.

But if even if their prices don’t increase, actually finding one may be more difficult.

Chip shortages are one of the main reasons why players can’t get PS5s and next-gen Xboxes. One rule of capitalism is that someone has to pay the bill. So, TSMC will raise prices, and AMD will likely pass the cost on to Sony and Microsoft. Increasing the pricing of already costly consoles would be a PR nightmare. The next logical cost-saving strategy is to minimize the quantity of suddenly more expensive products you bring in for production. That implies fewer AMD GPUs and CPUs for Sony and Microsoft.

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