Why it matters: Disruption from the coronavirus outbreak has had a huge impact on the economy, affecting virtually every industry, including the video game sector. It’s led to several products being delayed, and now another analyst believes the Xbox Series X and PS5 could be pushed back until next year.
Both machines from Microsoft and Sony are scheduled to arrive sometime this holiday season, but analyst DFC Intelligence (via Forbes) says the impact of the coronavirus will likely mean the consoles missing their launch dates. Even if they are released this year, getting hold of one could prove difficult, and you might be paying more than you thought.
“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,” DFC wrote.
“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.”
One bit of good news for Microsoft and Sony is that when their consoles are released, they're likely to face huge demand, which “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.”
This isn’t the first time an analyst has predicted a delay for the next-gen machines. Last month, investment bank Jefferies Group warned that disruption to the supply chains caused by the coronavirus could see the consoles pushed to next year, or at least suffer from restricted stock.
We’ve already seen the coronavirus delay production and shipments of Nintendo’s Switch. It’s also caused the TurboGrafx-16 Mini to be delayed until further notice. And while postponing the PS5 and next Xbox would have seemed unthinkable a few months ago, few could have predicted how bad the COVID-19 situation would become.
For the latest on the coronavirus spread and all the news on the outbreak, check out the new Bing tracker map from Microsoft.