While some companies have been forced to push back their games' release dates or other plans because of the coronavirus pandemic, both Sony and Microsoft have been adamant about the fact that their next-gen console releases won't be notably impacted. Microsoft's Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox team, reaffirmed this thinking in a recent interview with CNBC where he said the teams working on the Xbox Series X have done an excellent job of keeping the plans for the console on track. He said there'd be some inevitable impacts on scheduled because of the current situation, but the "bigger unknown" as he called it was where the production of games is concerned.
Spencer spoke during the interview with CNBC's "Squawk Alley" about the boom in gaming during the coronavirus pandemic while many more people are staying at home as well as the impact that the situation may have on Microsoft's plans. He said before anything else, the focus is on the safety of Microsoft's teams.
"The safety and security of our teams is the most important thing," Spencer said. "Obviously creating safety for our customers online with our services is critically important."
When asked about the Xbox Series X and whether the coronavirus would impact it or not, Spencer responded confidently that things were still on track as we move closer to the holiday launch of the console. As for the games, he said "we're learning every day."
"Teams are doing a really good job on keeping our hardware on track. I'd say that the bigger unknown is probably the game production, just being honest," Spencer said. "Game production is a large-scale entertainment activity now. You have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative. On the hardware side, we feel good about our plans are … obviously there's some impact to schedules, but overall, I think we're in line with where we thought we would be. On the game production side, we're learning every day. I still feel good about it, but I also need to make sure that the security and safety of the teams is the most important thing and not unduly push when things just aren't ready."
Whether games would be impacted or not has been brought into question before seeing how so many other developers have been affected. Microsoft teams such as 343 Industries have been adapting to new work environments but have said that they're being mindful of "current limitations" which could affect things like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Infinite.
Both the Xbox Series X and Halo Infinite are still on schedule for a Holiday 2020 release as of now.