Sony and Microsoft are teasing out details of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with Microsoft giving us some hard technical details yesterday and Sony set to follow suit tomorrow. Both consoles are scheduled to launch at the end of this year but you may have noticed the world is a bit of a mess right now and one market research firm is suggesting there is a “strong likelihood” that the consoles will be delayed.
DFC Intelligence, a games industry research firm that has been around since 1994, issued this report.
Coronavirus is likely to have a major short-term impact on the delivery of both systems. There is a strong likelihood one or both systems will not make a 2020 launch. If the systems do launch, supply will likely be constrained and initial pricing could be higher than expected.
Currently, the economy is in an unprecedented state of uncertainty. Even if the situation clears up in a few weeks, the ability to manufacture and release a high-end new game system has already been severely impacted.
Bloomberg are reporting that Nintendo may have problems shipping Switch hardware as the coronavirus outbreak has caused a production bottleneck. ‘People with knowledge of the company’s supply chain’ have told Bloomberg that there is a ‘limited supply’ of Chinese manufactured components being delivered to the Switch assembly plant in Vietnam and the there will be global shortages of the console starting in April.
The good news – for Sony and Microsoft at least – is that when the next gen consoles arrive DFC Intelligence are predicting record demand.
The good news is that consumer demand is likely to be stronger than ever. Demand will far exceed supply and long-term that could increase overall sales. In addition, the abundance of government and public caution should help assure this is a comparatively short-term crisis.
Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will release to record consumer demand. The challenge Sony and Microsoft face is making sure they release systems that meet expectations. Given the current situation, waiting to make sure they get the initial product right is the most prudent choice.