The Playstation 5 was already considered to be in short supply by February of this year, and there were questions about if shelves would be fairly restocked by Christmas 2021. However, a new problem emerged that will make this year’s holiday season a nightmare for fans of the PS5 – the recent six-day, seven-hour blockage of Egypt’s Suez Canal.
This past Monday, the 220,000-ton cargo ship The Ever Given was finally dislodged from the canal. But the ripple effects of this weeklong obstruction have not yet begun to be felt. Approximately $400 million worth of goods pass through the Suez Canal each hour, which translates to $9 billion every day, according to Lloyd’s List. And with the waterway’s seat at the intersection of Africa, Asia, and Europe, more than one-tenth of all the trade in the world passes through it annually.
“The fascinating thing about this is that the container ships carry manufactured goods, but they also carry pieces of manufactured goods,” Captain Andrew Kinsey told CNBC. “Microchips right now in car production are one of the key things we’re seeing a global shortage of, that’s impacting everything from video games to cars.”
As reported by The Motley Fool and various other outlets last month, 2020’s production of microchips, semiconductors, and other electronic components was greatly hampered by the pandemic’s aftereffects and unstable political relations in the world. And while reports remain unclear as to if any fully built PS5’s were onboard Ever Given, the microelectronics supply chain assuredly took a negative hit. The ensuing scarcity will impact the 2021 production schedule of the Playstation 5, the Xbox X Series, and many other gaming consoles, which will then certainly result in price hikes.
As of this article’s publishing, the lowest ask on StockX for a white Sony PS5 PlayStation 5 Blu-ray Edition Console is $728, over $200 more than its price upon initial release before last year’s Thanksgiving. Its competitor, a Microsoft Xbox Series X in black, is priced at $684, which came out two days before the PS5. Expect prices for these systems to rocket well into the four-digit range as the demand continues to outpace both the supply for new consoles as well as the replacement parts needed to fix them.