Microsoft asked AMD for help in combating Xbox Series X
Nearly three months after the release of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Microsoft is still struggling to meet demand for its new consoles, with stock shortages expected to carry on until at least April 2021.
But, during a recent appearance on Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb’s (AKA Major Nelson) video podcast (via VGC), Xbox boss Phil Spencer assured fans that the company is “working as hard as we can” to make more Xbox Series X stock available, with the executive revealing that he has even reached out to AMD to ask if the processor manufacturer could increase production to help with demand.
“I get some people [asking], ‘why didn’t you build more? Why didn’t you start earlier? Why didn’t you ship them earlier?’ All of those things,” Spencer told Hyrb. “It’s really just down to physics and engineering. We’re not holding them back: we’re building them as fast as we can. We have all the assembly lines going. I was on the phone last week with Lisa Su at AMD [asking], ‘how do we get more?’ So it’s something that we’re constantly working on.”
AMD manufactures the GPU and CPU for both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, with the console’s custom designed processor made up of an 8 core AMD Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2-class GPU. By AMD increasing the production of these chips, more consoles (in theory) could be manufactured by Microsoft.
But it’s not just the Xbox consoles that utilize AMD chips. The PS5 also uses an AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU and AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores, and has similarly been plagued by stock shortages since its launch.
“It’s not just us: gaming has really come into its own in 2020,” Spencer told Hyrb. “Obviously, PlayStation 5 is in very tight supply. When you look at the graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia… there’s just a lot of interest in gaming right now and console sales are just a sign of that, game sales are a sign of that and hardware is in short supply.