At the end of last week, the Mediamarkt marketing team meekly reported on Facebook: “Unfortunately, when the Playstation 5 went on sale, we weren't able to supply everyone with a console directly.” Everything would now be done to provide those who pre-ordered one of the new game consoles.
In the comments below, a first-class shit storm followed: “Hundreds of pre-orders, already paid for two months, are waiting for an info” or “I'm not stupid - never again”.
Meanwhile, the hashtag # WoBleibtMeinePS5 was trending on Twitter.
Customers had already ordered and paid for the Sony console months ago, and now Mediamarkt and Saturn cannot deliver at the start of sales - nor can they name a new date.
For many pre-orderers, a Christmas with PS5 should be canceled.
Parents are already resorting to desperate means to save the mess: On Ebay, PS5 offers from resellers at a price of 900 euros are called up and asked for.
In England, a father made headlines who spent 13 hours besieging the sales sites of various Internet retailers on eight different devices until he was able to complete an order.
The price comparison portal Idealo, which, like WELT, belongs to the media company Axel Springer, shows the Playstation 5 as currently available from 959 euros - the price statistics on the page show that in the past few days the minimum price was at times more than 1200 euros.
"Incredibly high demand"
Not only the Playstation 5 has worldwide delivery problems, all new gaming electronics are currently in short supply or not available at all: Microsoft's new Xbox Series X console is just as unavailable from German electronics discounters as it is from Amazon.
Nvidia's new RTX3080 and RTX3070 gaming graphics cards are only available with substantial surcharges of sometimes more than 300 euros and in too small quantities.
AMD's new 6800 and 6800 XT are sometimes not even listed, sometimes they are only supplied with a surcharge of 200 euros compared to the recommended price of 579 euros.
And AMD's new Ryzen 5000X gaming processors for PC leads Idealo to double the list price at times, even the entry-level model 5600X is currently expected to cost just under 600 euros.
AMD's recommended retail price is 299 euros.
It was already foreseeable that the new graphics cards and consoles would be difficult to get during the Christmas business.
Sony itself had warned of the scarce availability of the devices.
Nvidia had postponed the start of the RTX3070 graphics card for a few weeks in order to be able to deliver more devices to dealers in advance, while AMD also delayed the market launch.
But apparently none of the manufacturers had foreseen the rush of gamers this year.
The customer reaction is "overwhelmingly positive".
The demand is "incredibly high", AMD commented on the bottleneck in processors and graphics cards - the processor manufacturer does not go into the causes.
Special boom for the gaming market
Sony asked its customers for forgiveness via Twitter.
The company announced that it would deliver more devices - actually in December.
“We confirm that more PS5 consoles will arrive in retail outlets before the end of the year.
Please stay in contact with your local dealers. ”It is not yet clear whether the consoles will arrive in time for the Christmas business.
Nvidia already apologized in September that it had "completely underestimated" the demand this year.
Apparently, several factors come together: On the one hand, the pandemic gave manufacturers less time than expected to prepare for the production of new devices.
Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony's gaming division Sony Interactive Entertainment, confirmed in an interview with the Russian agency Tass that the console was sold out worldwide.
Due to the corona pandemic, it took longer than planned to prepare for production.
"We had to coordinate everything remotely via video conference and camera - of all things with a precision device like the PS5."
On the other hand, thanks to the pandemic, the games industry is currently experiencing a boom - gamers are investing unspent vacation or going out budgets in new hardware and games.
According to various studies, the gaming market is expected to grow by up to 20 percent worldwide this year, significantly more than originally expected.
Bottleneck in Taiwan
In addition, the production of the new gaming hardware this year is crucially dependent on a single chip manufacturer: Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) is currently the only contract manufacturer of complex chips that uses the latest manufacturing process with a structure size of seven nanometers for chip conductor tracks controlled.
Chip manufacturer AMD has its Ryzen chips manufactured there as well as the GPUs of the new 6800 series.
But that's not all, AMD is also the designer of the APU chips for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X - and also has these special console chips exposed by TSMC.
Nvidia, on the other hand, is currently not satisfied with its contract manufacturer Samsung and, according to industry reports, will again order its RTX3000 GPU chips from TSMC from next year.
TSMC is currently investing in new chip factories, but building them takes years - the capacities in seven-nanometer production cannot simply be expanded.
In the past few days, AMD has already secured additional capacities for the manufacture of the console chips at TSMC, which were made available by the cancellation of the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Huawei.
But the bottleneck in Taiwan will persist until at least the beginning of next year: According to a report by the specialist publication Hardwaretimes, TSMC is currently producing fewer chips than planned, as the reject rate in the production of complex chips is more than 40 percent.
The supply situation for gaming hardware should only improve noticeably in early summer.
That leaves the question of what disappointed pre-orderers can do to get their consoles or graphics cards anyway: "Since the delivery date has not been met, the seller is behind schedule," explains specialist lawyer Christian Solmecke from the Cologne law firm WBS.
“On the one hand, buyers have the right to withdraw from the contract.
Most buyers will not want that because they absolutely want to have this coveted item. ”Another alternative is to send a reminder for delivery, set a deadline for subsequent delivery and announce to the seller that if it is not delivered, the console will be ordered elsewhere at a higher price and the Difference to be charged.
“The problem is, however, that the game console is currently not available anywhere.
You won't be allowed to pay moon prices either, otherwise a legal dispute with the seller is inevitable. "