Both the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox are expected to be available around this Christmas shopping season, with some saying the PS5 and Xbox Series X could be available in late October, others pointing out that they will be released in mid-November and even reportedly coming out in early December. However, the current coronavirus could significantly delay the release of the PlayStation and Xbox, or at least keep Sony and Microsoft from meeting initial market demand.
Coronary virus, an infectious disease, has claimed 638 lives out of 31,500 confirmed cases since late December. Most of these cases occur in China, which has extended the New Year’s holiday to reduce the risk of infection. Since most of the world’s hardware, including gaming consoles, is made in China, there are growing reports that hardware production could slow down and affect sales. Products including the iPhone and AirPods are affected, and Nintendo has confirmed that its latest version of switch will be delayed by the virus.
Nintendo’s chief executive, Yukio Kogawa, said last week that Production of switch consoles had been affected, Reuters reported earlier this week. Nintendo has been moving some production out of China since last year to avoid a trade war, but that is not enough to compensate for the damage caused by the outbreak.
Analysts now expect Sony and Microsoft to be affected by the closure of factories in China. The video game industry is preparing to upgrade every few years during the end of 2020, and if the console foundry is closed for more than a month or so, the game console’s new product release schedule will be pushed out before it is officially launched in the fall of 2020, a jefferies group report said. New consoles may also suffer from supply problems.
The extent of the delay is unclear, and it is unclear which plants were affected and how long they will be closed. Researchers around the world are working on a cure for the virus, but it will take months for the vaccine to be ready. Meanwhile, China is already rapidly testing for treatment, but it will take time to show results.
Sony and Microsoft are expected to hold separate events for the PS5 and the new Xbox in the coming months. At that time, we will be expected to learn the actual details of the two consoles and better understand the company’s view of the impact of coronaviruses.