Microsoft Grapples With Xbox Controller Shortage

A lot of retailers have been running out of Xbox Wireless Controllers, with no definitive end date for the shortage. In a statement to VGC, Microsoft confirmed that it is indeed having trouble keeping up with retail demand for its controllers primarily intended for use with Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X consoles, as well as Windows PCs, Android, and iOS devices. According to VGC stock is still fairly easy to find in the U.S. (for the most part), though it notes that while controllers are available through some retailers, others like GameStop and Amazon are only showing refurbished or used peripherals in stock.

Other regions like Australia, France, and the U.K. have had even worse luck with many stores showing "out of stock" on all makes and models of the Xbox Wireless Controller. Because it is so difficult to source a controller in Europe right now, some stores and 3rd-party sources are taking advantage by marking up original store pricing by as much as double.

Where are all the controllers?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Microsoft suggested that the ongoing supply chain disruptions are to blame for the current state of controller availability. It was unclear if the problem originated at the distribution of manufacturing level, though given the state of things over the past couple of years, both points in the process could be to blame. 

While Microsoft doesn't seem to have an estimate for when the controller shortage will be resolved, it at least has made it clear that it's aware of the issue. It's also stated that steps are already being taken to address the problem with manufacturing and retail partners. Though these types of production and distribution tasks take time to implement, and more time for us to start seeing the effects, so don't expect an overnight change.

In the meantime, Microsoft recommends that anyone looking for a new Xbox Wireless controller should keep an eye on their local retailers to see when and if any new stock becomes available.