Microsoft knew it was a little bit behind on Xbox Series X/S manufacturing.
Microsoft has revealed that it began building Xbox Series X/S consoles in late summer, a little bit later than originally planned. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, explained to The Verge in a wide-ranging interview why the platform holder risked going later than Sony.
According to Spencer, Microsoft wanted specific AMD technology in the chip, which is what pushed the start of manufacturing back a little bit.
“We started manufacturing late summer. We were a little bit later than the competition, because we were waiting for some specific AMD technology in our chip,” said Spencer.
“We were a little bit behind where they were, where Sony was, in terms of building units. When you do that, then you have to ship them to all the right retailers and distributors. There’s a time lag, even when you start and even when they’re coming off the assembly line, [until they’re] sitting at retail shelves.”
Microsoft did not specify what sort of technology necessitated this delay, but closer to the Xbox Series X/S launch, the company said that its next-gen consoles will be the only ones to take full advantage of the RDNA 2 architecture, something Sony did not say about the PS5, despite both sharing a large portion of AMD’s RDNA 2 tech.
As for the manufacturing split between Xbox Series X and Series S, Spencer said the more expensive Series X has the lead for now, but this may not be the case longer-term.
“We figured that our first holiday, and probably our second holiday, you would see more of the higher end SKU, the Series X sold,” Spencer explained.
“We built more Series Xs than we did Series Ss. I think when we go into spring and summer, we’ll probably moderate that a bit. Over the long run, in most cases, price wins out.”
The rest of the interview is worth reading/listening to, and you can do both at the link.