Screenshot from Halo Esports via YouTube
Microsoft is apparently having just as much trouble procuring Xbox consoles as everyone else, as some of the players at the first major Halo Infinite tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina are forced to play on Xbox Series X development kits (via Kotaku). Game dev kits consist of hardware that developers use to create games and typically aren’t available to the public, let alone used at official gaming tournaments.
Heads up open bracket players – you’ll be playing this weekend on Series X development consoles. They’re functionally identical and will be operating in “Retail” mode so it’s the exact same experience, they just look a little different.
Why? Global supply chain shortage is real.
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 15, 2021
Tahir Hasandjekic, the Halo esports and viewership lead at 343 Industries sent out a tweet before the start of the tournament, warning some players that they’ll have to play on Xbox Series X dev kits instead of the real thing. He notes that the dev kits are “functionally identical and will be operating in ‘Retail’ mode.” Players will still get the “exact same experience” as others playing on the standard console, but the hardware will obviously look a lot different. As for the reason behind the use of dev kits, Hasandjekic bluntly explains that the “global supply chain shortage is real.”
The chip shortage has made it difficult to find everything from PC parts, gaming consoles, vehicles, and even household appliances. In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that supply chain constraints could last well into next year. It’s gotten so bad that not only is Microsoft struggling to get enough of its own consoles, but even Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, can’t seem to get his hands on a new Xbox either. Cue resorted to following @XboxStockAlerts, a Twitter account that posts about Xbox console restocks, proving that even having the highest of connections can’t guarantee you access to the console.