We have our first hardware delay courtesy of COVID-19, aka coronavirus, as Konami has announced it is delaying the release of the PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini console due to the virus. The reason for the delay is due to the fact that manufacturing operations in China have been reduced significantly since the outbreak, where cases have exceeded 80,000 with over 3000 deaths. The majority of individuals that have been affected have recovered.
In a statement Konami wrote:
“We deeply apologise to our customers for the significant inconvenience, and we humbly ask for your understanding and patience while we keep our close attention on the situation. We are investing all of our efforts to deliver the PC Engine Core Grafx mini as soon as possible, and will provide further details on the deliver timing once confirmed.”
The mini console was due to be released on March 19th and now there is no date as the impact of COVID-19 is yet to be fully determined due to its unpredictability. The virus is having a major impact on the games industry. Earlier today, the Minecraft Festival was postponed and Bungie initiated a work from home policy for all of its employees as the virus continues to spread. GDC 2020 has been postponed until the summer, Overwatch League events have been cancelled, and Bloomberg are reporting that Nintendo may have problems shipping Switch hardware as the coronavirus outbreak has caused a production bottleneck. PUBG Corp has announced it is postponing the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds eSports event PBS Berlin, The Outer Worlds Switch release has been delayed, and Valve has confirmed that the Valve Index VR headset production has been affected by the outbreak.
Other event organisers such as the ESA are monitoring the situation as E3 draws near. In terms of the next generation of consoles Sony and Microsoft have been quiet about the release dates so far though there has been no indication yet that the window of Holiday 2020 is being changed.