Even Microsoft is feeling the sting of ongoing Xbox shortages. Kotaku notes Microsoft resorted to using Xbox Series X dev kits (not pictured) to run the first big Halo Infinite tournament, the Halo Championship Series' Raleigh Major, this weekend. Simply put, the company couldn't find enough retail consoles to use — the "global supply chain shortage is real," 343 Industries' eSports lead Tahir Hasandjekic said.
The dev kits are "functionally identical" to off-the-shelf consoles and will operate in that mode, Hasandjekic added. They don't look quite the same, but competitors shouldn't notice any differences from the systems they have at home.
The irony is thick, but this also underscores the severity of console shortages over a year after the Xbox Series X made its debut. It's still difficult to buy the machine between scalpers and industry-wide chip shortages, and Microsoft doesn't necessarily have privileged access to its own hardware. With that said, the company probably doesn't want to make a habit of using developer units. We won't be surprised if Microsoft ensures future in-person HCS matchups rely on store-bought Xbox systems, if just for the sake of burnishing its public image.
Heads up open bracket players - you'll be playing this weekend on Series X development consoles. They're functionally identical and will be operating in "Retail" mode so it's the exact same experience, they just look a little different.
Why? Global supply chain shortage is real.
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 15, 2021