PS5 and Xbox Series X May Have a Big Problem at Launch

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are both scheduled to release sometime this holiday season. Analysts are suggesting Sony and Microsoft may push the consoles to 2021, but for now the two console makers are sticking by their vague end of 2020 release windows. That said, if Sony and Microsoft stick to these release windows, there's a good chance both consoles will launch accompanied by supply shortages.

According to DFC Intelligence, if both consoles launch this year, supply will probably not be able to meet demand, causing severe shortages. However, the strategic market research and consulting firm notes that right now it's hard to predict anything given that the current amount of uncertainty is unprecedented.

“The current amount of uncertainty is unprecedented," said DFC Intelligence. "We expect that demand will be greater than supply, probably by a significant margin. The only certainty is uncertainty and anyone who says otherwise has a crystal ball we don't have access to,” DFC said.

The company continued:

“At some point, if product is limited or price of components becomes too high, Sony and Microsoft will have to make a tough decision about whether to launch in very short supply or delay launch until the supply chain is comfortably running. We do not expect this decision to be made in the short-term.”

Right now, both Sony and Microsoft have time, but this time is quickly running out. According to senior Niko analyst Daniel Ahmad, if manufacturing doesn't return to full capacity before the end of this fiscal quarter, there's either going to be shortages or a delay.

“If the coronavirus outbreak is contained within the next month or two then we would expect console manufacturers to be able to meet demand for the holiday quarter, both for current gen consoles and next gen console launches,” said Ahmad. “If manufacturers are unable to operate at full capacity before the end of Q2 2020 we could see an impact on the launch of next gen console launches, with either limited supply or delayed releases becoming the likely outcomes.”


Of course, for now, all of this is speculation. It's impossible to predict what state global society, manufacturing, and the economy will be in the coming months. Even if neither console suffers delays or shortages, both Sony and Microsoft are going to have a tough job pitching luxury gaming consoles to the average consumer in a year full of economic hardships.


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