PS5 and Xbox Series X are set to arrive later this year, heralding the next generation of the console gaming life cycle. It's been seven years since the PS4 and Xbox One first launched, so naturally gamers are incredibly excited at the prospect of having a next-gen gaming machine under their Christmas trees.
However, there may be an issue affecting the games industry. Nintendo has already publicly made known that they are having supply issues, but PS5 and Xbox Series X are keeping silent on the matter – for now.
Business Insider (opens in new tab) has reported that financial services company Jefferies Group claims the PS5 and Xbox Series X production lines could be delayed or disrupted due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. Much of the production process for both consoles is outsourced to China, and there is currently a great deal of disruption as companies respond to the outbreak.
Nintendo has mentioned in a statement that shipments of the Nintendo Switch console to Japan is being delayed by the coronavirus. No time frame was given for the delays, but BI claims they stem from disruptions on China-produced accessories such as the Joy-Con controllers.
Smartphone producers are also feeling the hit, as key Apple supplier Foxconn has actually quarantined its workers to protect them from the outbreak. It's due to return to production today, February 10, but the gap is set to cause iPhone supply delays down the road.
Analysts have reported that should the panic around coronavirus continue, Xbox Series X and PS5 may face delays that could cause Sony and Microsoft to push back that "Holiday 2020" release date.
It could be a difficult prospect for these companies to do so – for example, PlayStation is Sony's most profitable division – so we're betting Sony and Microsoft will do everything they can to ensure the consoles launch in time for the busy Christmas period.
Supply issues could still plague those planned launches, causing availability issues for some gamers. However, managing director of Equity Research, games industry analyst Michael Pachter, told our sister site TechRadar (opens in new tab) that "If Coronavirus lasts through June, it will be a problem for [Microsoft and Sony],"
Pachter also mentions that Apple essentially relies on Chinese labour for its production, while Sony and Microsoft have other options.
"I could see Apple panicking if Coronavirus is still an issue in a month, but I think Sony and Microsoft will quietly arrange for production in Taiwan and Vietnam (at a cost of maybe $5 – 10 per unit more at most) just to be safe," Pachter tells TechRadar.
We'll know more for sure as news on the outbreak develops – and we get closer to those much-anticipated launch dates for both consoles.