This article has been a long-time coming as we all have patiently watched, in some cases with money in our accounts to try and purchase the gaming devices we desire but to no avail. It all started with the pandemic and the severe shortage of the Nintendo Switch, a console that was in production since 2017, it mysteriously vanished worldwide as players decided that Animal Crossing was the game to play indoors.
As demand surged, inventories dried up and pre-owned switches began to switch hands (yes, I know what I did there) for obscene amounts. As staying indoors became the norm, gaming became the activity of choice for both leisure and socialising.
The demand continued to rise and with the announcement of generation shifting hardware, players were eagerly waiting for it.
There was unprecedented demand as with extended lockdowns, gaming transmuted from being a chance encounter, to a leisure time activity to a daily practice. It was time for the manufacturers to step up.
The production, however, was slow, and the demand at levels unanticipated, the PS5, the Series X and the Nvidia 3 series of graphic cards were nowhere to be found. The PS5’s launch in India was pushed from late 2020 to February 2021. The pre-orders, like everywhere, vanished in a matter of minutes and there is no indication to when the next round will happen.
Similarly, in August and September as I was looking for a high-performance gaming laptop, there were none available in the market. I waited for over six weeks to get the device I desired.The industry numbers for gaming are going to be stratospheric this year as more people have adopted the practice than ever before.
The sales figures for both the PS5 and the Series X and S have never been this high (PS5 over 4 million units by January 2021 and Microsoft closing in on 2 million), the demand still seems unending as people eagerly wait.
For players, the loss still isn’t significant as none of the exclusive titles are here yet but for the PS5 that will quickly change with the launch of Kena and Returnal. As Sony repeatedly assures us that there is no inventory left whatsoever, it’s time to begin wondering what will players do when their favourite games launch and they don’t have the right hardware to play them on.
We are now in uncharted territory! Gaming has gone mainstream and the Gamestop stock says it all.