Coronavirus is probably going to delay launch of PS5, Xbox Series X say experts

Though games seem to be a great coping mechanism for the outbreak of the coronavirus – last night, Steam hit 20,000,000 concurrent players! – it seems the industry is going to be negatively impact by the pandemic, too.

A new report from market research firm DFC Intelligence (via Forbes ), states that the worldwide outbreak of the virus has a "strong likelihood" of shunting the release dates of new hardware back into 2021.

Currently, the next-gen consoles are pegged for launch at some point in the 2020 holiday period (though no specific dates have been revealed) but this new report states that the widespread disruption caused by COVID-19 could result in the increase in price of the hardware, and fewer units being available on the shelves.

“Coronavirus is likely to have a major short-term impact on the delivery of both systems,” DFC suggested.

“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.”

“Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will release to record consumer demand.

“The challenge Sony and Microsoft face are 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.”

We'd previously seen reports that the industry's reliance on China as a manufacturing hub could see widespread impact on the gaming industry.

"We estimate that a third to a half of art creation for the western video games sector could be carried out in China," states equity research group Jeffries, in a report sent out examining the impact coronavirus could have on the sector.

“The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years’ product generation change for the 2020 holiday season,” the group said.

“If [company] shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed. New consoles may likewise suffer supply issues from a prolonged disruption, ahead of their Fall 2020 planned launches.”

Even in February, we saw the impact the outbreak was having on the gaming industry – Nintendo announced that Nintendo Switch shipments to Japan have had to be delayed because of the outbreak of the virus.

The outlook is pretty grim for gamers having a disruption-free year. We'll keep you updated as we learn more information.

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