The Global Everything Shortage Sucks, and Even Microsoft Can’t Find a Series X for its Halo Tournament

No one has an Xbox Series X, not even Microsoft.

I can’t find an Xbox Series X, but neither can Microsoft. Thanks to the global supply chain shortage, literally everything is a nightmare to find, and the struggle even sent Microsoft scrambling to find Xbox Series X consoles for the Halo Championship Series held yesterday.

The console maker apparently does not have an infinite supply of its systems on standby. As spotted by Kotaku, Microsoft and 343 Industries Esports and Viewership Lead Tahir Hasandjekic tweeted that the Halo kickoff tournament would have to resort to using Series X dev kits for some players. While Hasandjekic noted those developer models “look a little different,” they’re still fundamentally the same experience—so no need for pros to panic if their console wasn’t familiar. “Why? Global supply chain shortage is real,” Hasandjekic wrote in a Tweet.

It sounds like all of those people competing for the $250,000 prize pool are doing fine so far as the Halo Championship Series wraps up its final day. Hasandjekic updated as recently as an hour ago that over 220,000 people were watching the event go down. That’s all fine and well, but unfortunately it’s a problem we’re seeing more of and not less.

The global supply shortage is wreaking havoc over most aspects of daily life, but it’s hit the games industry hard. The Verge has a particularly helpful explanation for what the hell is going on, but all of those raw materials that wind up taking shape as your PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and fancy GPU aren’t getting from point A, to point B, and so on. It’s also a bunch of manufacturers all competing for the same pieces in short supply, resulting in car makers versus whatever phone manufacturer versus Sony and Microsoft. And it all gets worse as folks start hoarding goods and buying up sought-after things to resell, so now we’re all paying more.

This is why you can’t get your hands on a new console, and a mega-corporation going into their tournament in short supply drives that home. Final Fantasy XIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida has cited the whole ordeal multiple times in his explanations for why Square Enix can’t upgrade the MMO’s server infrastructure, and Valve is struggling to get their new Steam Deck out the door in a timely fashion.

It sucks, but you know what would help? Getting global superpowers to take a pandemic seriously.