The launch of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X should both be pushed to 2021.
Right now, the world is continuing to suffer from the coronavirus and it's causing havoc to various countries, global events and a whole lot more from the top down.
It's no longer a problem localised to just the Wuhan region of China, it's impacting people in Europe and North America too.
More recently, events like GDC have been cancelled and whilst the ESA – who run E3 – have remained bullish in saying the event is still going ahead "full speed". How long that remains the case, is anyone's guess.
This is the impact we can see first hand, but it isn't taking into account the huge impact back east and production of these two new consoles due for release 'this Holiday'.
Already this year, we've learnt that Nintendo Switch has had production issues for both new consoles and the Switch Ring Fit accessory.
"Due to the effect of the current coronavirus outbreak, delays in the production and shipment of Nintendo Switch consoles, Joy-Con, and other accessories has become unavoidable. Likewise, the currently under-stocked Ring Fit Adventure will also face shipment delays," said Nintendo announced at the time.
Should the PS5 and Xbox Series X console launches be delayed to 2021?
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Meanwhile, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad has previously stated that 96% of video game consoles imported into the United State in 2018 were produced in China.
More recently speaking with Hollywood Reporter, Ahmed outlined what he believed would be the tipping point for production impacting consoles for the holiday period later this year.
“If the coronavirus outbreak is contained within the next month or two then we would expect console manufacturers to be able to meet demand for the holiday quarter, both for current-gen consoles and next gen console launches”
“If manufacturers are unable to operate at full capacity before the end of Q2 2020 we could see an impact on the launch of next gen console launches, with either limited supply or delayed releases becoming the likely outcomes.”
For those wondering, Q2 ends in June. You might be thinking, 'well, that's ages away', but then again, if the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship is a bit up in the air, it doesn't seem a given that things will be solved.
Now it's quite possible that problems will be eradicated by then, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's fine for publishers and developers.
As pointed out on the IGN Beyond podcast this week, GDC is invaluable so smaller companies can pitch games to bigger companies, but that's obviously not happening, with GDC looking at hosting a Summer event instead.
Just how many games could be impacted? Analysis from Ken Rumph, an analyst for investment banking group Jefferies (Via gamesindustry.biz) suggests there could be disruption to development schedules.
"If shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed," Rumph said in a research note.
Right now, there are far too many variables up in the air, and it doesn't seem right to stick doggedly to the original 'holiday 2020' launch for both consoles given the ongoing turmoil all over the world.
Nintendo successfully released a brand new console in March and it seems like there's no reason why Sony and Microsoft couldn't do the same with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Given so many games are looking to be cross-generational anyway, is there any reason why we need to force these new consoles to release before Christmas?
Probably not. And for everyone's sake, I'm hoping both companies do the sensible thing and take a serious look at whether they can push back their next-gen launch a few more months.
Let us know what you think in the poll above and comments section below.
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