The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been far reaching, affecting all aspects of our lives, from personal hygiene with PSAs on how to properly wash your hands (opens in new tab), to panic-buying that has lead to an apparent nationwide shortage of hand soap, hand sanitiser, and toilet paper.
The first industries to be affected were those that have factories in China, where the first cases were reported. As a result, there were whispers last month that Sony and Microsoft's console launch dates might be impacted (opens in new tab) after Nintendo announced that it was having supply issues with the Switch (opens in new tab). The Japanese giant has just released a new Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition (opens in new tab) of the console, ahead of the series' new title that debuts on March 20.
But now industry analysts have said it's likely both the PS5 (opens in new tab) or Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) may not make their 2020 launch.
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DFC Intelligence says, "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."
As well as having a possible effect on the retail price, people could buy up stock to resell, jacking up the prices even more.
Niko Partners' senior analyst, Daniel Ahmad, said that production of the Nintendo Switch is starting to get back into gear and wouldn't be too affected given that the demand is higher later in the year than it is now.
Ahmad says it's too early to tell with the PS5 and Xbox Series X; he warns, "if we're at a point where production is not at full capacity by the end of Q2 then that will definitely be a reason for MS/Sony to reconsider holiday launches of next gen consoles."
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Microsoft has already revealed (opens in new tab) the Xbox Series X and talked more about the specs last month (opens in new tab). Sony was expected to unveil its console in February (opens in new tab) but we hadn't heard a peep about it until this week, when the official PlayStation Twitter account (opens in new tab) grabbed everyone's attention with an announcement.
PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny will be doing a deep dive into the console's specs on a special live stream. We don't know if he'll address the coronavirus concerns, or if he'll stick to just talking about the hardware, but if you want to watch, here's how.
Source: CCN (opens in new tab)