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Why are Xbox controllers so expensive?

Looking to grab a new Xbox controller but can’t find one that’s reasonably priced? You’re not alone, as over the last few weeks the pads have become increasingly rare on a number of store fronts including Amazon.

What’s more, those that are still selling are going for massively inflated prices, or with huge delays in estimated delivery dates. At the time of publishing the cheapest new official Xbox One controller we could find on Amazon was being sold by a third party seller for £70. That’s a £20 markup on what it’d normally cost you.

Which may lead you to wonder:

Sadly Amazon, Currys PC World and Microsoft weren’t exactly helpful answering the question. Amazon and Currys declined Trusted Reviews’ request for comment on why the controllers are so expensive and if there’s a supply shortage. At the time of publishing Microsoft hadn’t responded to Trusted Reviews request for comment.

But Futuresource research analyst Morris Garrard shed some light on the situation, telling Trusted Reviews it’s likely due to supply chain issues and the company’s shifting focus towards its next generation Xbox Series X console.

“Several industry sources have confirmed there is currently a more restricted supply of Xbox controllers. A reason for this has not yet been confirmed, however it is likely the shortages are due lower than normal manufacturing capacity in China, and manufacturing pivoting to the Xbox Series X, ensuring there is ample supply for its Q4 launch. With controllers in short supply, it is likely that we will see some opportunist retailers increase prices until supply is normalised,” he said.

Related: Best Xbox Series X games

Garrad added the shortage will likely continue for a long while, as the lockdown has also caused a spike in demand for gaming hardware.

“The pandemic has also given rise to substantial uptake of gaming and purchase of gaming equipment, so another contributing factor to this trend may be excess demand for Xbox controllers. This may result in increased prices on websites such as eBay and perhaps Amazon, as companies and individuals offload stock to capitalise on inflated prices driven by this excess demand,” he said.

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next generation games console. It scheduled to launch at the end of this year, around the same time as Sony’s new PS5 console. You can see how the two consoles compare in our PS5 vs Xbox Series X feature.

Microsoft is one of many companies reportedly suffering supply chain issues as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Reports suggest the pandemic has also forced Apple to tweak its iPhone 12 launch plans, delaying the phone’s launch by at least a month.

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