The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are both scheduled to release sometime this holiday season, but these plans could be disrupted by the Coronavirus epidemic in China, which could end up delaying the release of both next-gen consoles. As you may know, China is the heart of console manufacturing. For example, in 2018, 96 percent of video game consoles that were imported to the United States were produced in China. And right now, China is the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, which, unfortunately, is only getting increasingly worse.
As of right now, over 560 people have died from the virus, with 28.000 cases reported so far. And as you would expect, this is impacting commerce in China, especially the country's manufacturing sector. As we speak, manufacturing giant Foxconn is quarantining workers. Meanwhile, Nikkei Asian Review reports that at least one supply chain executive is saying that the release of the next iPhone could now be impacted by the outbreak. More specific to the gaming space, Nintendo Switch shortages are now also expected.
Now, whether this will roll over into the production of the PS5 and Xbox Series, well, only time will tell. However, right now, it's looking like it may do exactly this.
"The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years' product generation change for the 2020 holiday season," said Jefferies Group to investors. "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."
"96% of video game consoles imported into the U.S. in 2018 were produced in China. Whilst companies such as Nintendo have moved some manufacturing abroad, China still accounts for the majority.” @ZhugeEX https://t.co/oMGKTNbj2y— Ryan Browne (@Ryan_Browne_) February 6, 2020
Of course, for now, all of this is conjecture, but if the Coronavirus continues to spread at the rate it is, this could spell bad news for Sony, Microsoft, and any company making games for the two consoles. While both companies have expressed interest in severing their complete reliance on China's manufacturing sector, the reality right now is that both are incredibly reliant on the country's biggest manufacturing companies.1comments
At the moment of publishing, neither Sony nor Microsoft have commented on the issue and whether or not either console is in danger of being delayed.
H/T, Business Insider.