Ina Gilbert, director of Xbox France, has revealed that the country is on a list of markets that are a priority to receive Xbox Series X stock before the end of the year. She added that there may be stock issues that could leave the countries that do get their hands on the console in 2020 short.
The last we heard, both the Xbox series X and the PS5 were on track to meet their holiday 2020 launch window, despite the impact the pandemic has had on the manufacturing industry in China which is where companies like Microsoft and Sony have their factories. But that may not be the case.
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Talking to French website Xboxygen, Gilbert said:
"The choice we made on this launch is really to be present in more countries than at the launch of the Xbox One. Today I do not see a risk [of a console shortage] for France, in any case. But if tomorrow, a few days before the launch, there is a huge containment in the world ... that we can not do much.
"In any case in our plan today, we have the units for the launch. France is in the priority countries. Now, will we have enough ... This is always a big question, and this is where we enter into discussions for us, and it is my role, to favour France over to other countries. Show that we have the community, that we have the market, that there are huge expectations around the Xbox Series X in France and that we need units to cover this demand."
Current bets are on the Xbox Series X launching around the US Thanksgiving holiday in November but it sounds like Microsoft plans to divvy up its stock to bolster its presence in more territories on release than it previously has done.
Given the circumstances, this may lead to supply being spread thin. It sounds like some areas may miss out altogether in a worst case scenario that sees "priority countries" get their consoles before the end of the year, while others may have to wait until 2021.
Gilbert also confirmed that production is already underway, as you'd expect at this point in the year.
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Hopefully, there won't be any delays, but everything is still very much in flux as Gilbert points out. In the event that production is delayed, Microsoft will be juggling its new console launch strategy with meeting demand across territories.
Just be sure to keep tooting your Xbox Series X horn so your country makes the priority list thanks to its rabid fan base.