Microsoft apparently has as much trouble buying Xbox consoles as everyone else, as some players do at the first major Halo Infinite tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina are forced to play on Xbox Series X development kits (via Kotaku). Game development kits consist of hardware that developers use to create games and are not typically available to the public, let alone used in official gaming tournaments.
Heads up open bracket players – you’ll be playing on Series X development consoles this weekend. They are functionally identical and operate in “Retail” mode, so it’s exactly the same experience, they just look a little different.
Why? The global supply chain shortage is real.
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 15, 2021
Tahir Hasandjekic, de Halo esports and viewership leader at 343 Industries tweeted before the start of the tournament, warning some players to play on Xbox Series X dev kits rather than the real thing. He notes that the dev kits are “functionally identical and will run in ‘Retail’ mode.” Players will still get the “exactly the same experience” as others playing on the standard console, but of course the hardware will look very different. As for the rationale behind the use of development 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, game consoles, vehicles and even home appliances. In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said supply chain restrictions could last 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 replenishment, proving that even having the highest-ranking connections can’t guarantee you access to the console.