The Xbox Series X will come out well at the end of the year. Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, was reassuring to say that the console will not suffer any delays. On the other hand, some games may come later.
With Covid-19, the world is idling and many high-tech products could be delayed. However, this will not be the case for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s new console. Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, reassured consumers (and investors) at CNBC that the machine will arrive in time for the holiday season.
“Overall, I think we’re on schedule. The biggest unknown is the production of the games. It’s running at full speed, you have hundreds of people working together, building visuals, moving the creative process forward,” says Phil Spencer.
The console is on time, for games it’s less certain.
It is difficult for developers during the containment period to maintain the same work pace. For Spencer, the top priority right now is the safety of his employees, who will not be pushed to meet the pre-pandemic schedule. So while everything looks on schedule on the console side, the same can’t necessarily be said for the games side.
Thus, Microsoft has already chosen to postpone its games Wasteland 3 (August 28) and Minecraft Dungeons (May 26). Halo Infinite, the only Microsoft game confirmed for the launch of Series X, has not yet changed its release date. However, that could change by the end of the year, according to Spencer’s statements.
These delays could also affect games from third-party publishers, on which Microsoft is relying heavily. On Thursday, May 7, the Redmond-based firm will hold a virtual conference to present the Series X third-party games, including the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which was officially released last week.
The competition is also in the dark
The Xbox Series X will therefore be released in 2020, but its launch catalogue may be limited. We’ll certainly have to wait until 2021 to see the number of games available on the console multiply.
The competition is obviously not spared by the same constraints. Sony also plans to release its PlayStation 5 at the end of the year, but production could be greatly impacted. According to Bloomberg, Sony is forecasting a stock of 5 to 6 million consoles for the first three months of operation, which is very little.
By way of comparison, 7.5 million copies of the Playstation 4 were distributed when it was launched in 2013, and it was already difficult to get one in the first few months.