Microsoft’s Halo Championship Series over the weekend marked an unfortunate new milestone for the Xbox manufacturer, as players had to game on Series X development consoles, also known as dev kits, instead of regular Xboxes. Ongoing supply chain issues mean that even Microsoft can’t get enough of its own Xbox Series X consoles for esports tournaments.
What happened — The Halo Esports and Viewership Lead at Microsoft and 343 Industries tweeted last week that all gamers in the open bracket tournament would have to play on dev kits. It appears that Microsoft deployed them as a last resort, considering the last-minute announcement and the reality that those consoles are intended for developer use only.
How it worked — Thankfully, the dev kits can operate in “Retail” mode so players could navigate a familiar, user-friendly UI. According to Microsoft, the kits are “functionally identical,” so they presumably have the exact same hardware and inner components as the company’s latest-gen consoles.
Why it matters — While the dev kits allowed Microsoft’s show to go on, it’s an indication that the global supply chain issues are and will continue to affect every aspect of our lives. Not even billion-dollar tech companies or top executives are immune to the effects of logistics issues, which some predict are not going away anytime soon. While some receive booster shots and return to work, the supply chain lags behind. Many of America’s favorite products and necessities are in short supply and high demand.
Not just silicon chips — Supply chain issues go beyond just the chip shortage, as global shipments of just about everything have become slower and more expensive. Consumers’ dramatic lifestyle changes during the current crisis also contributed to the global surge for more products over services, straining an already-fragile supply chain system.
The gaming industry has much to lose in the face of product shortages. Unfortunately, this may be the first of many challenges for the burgeoning esports scene as supply chain issues persist into the foreseeable future.