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PlayStation And Xbox Warn Of 'Risk Of Delays' To Upcoming Games

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PlayStation And Xbox Warn Of 'Risk Of Delays' To Upcoming Games

Sony and Microsoft have both spoken out about the potential impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to upcoming releases. I probably don't need to tell you that these are unprecedented times we're living in. As the virus continues to spread around the world, we should expect disruptions to all areas of life - that includes video games, sadly.

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As reported by VGC, Sony issued a statement on Friday admitting as such. In a message to stakeholders, the company said that there haven't been any issues just yet, but it's "carefully monitoring the risk of delays in production schedules for game software titles" at first-party and partner studios. It added that it was "focused on ensuring the safety of its employees and their families".

PlayStation currently has two major PS4 exclusives planned to launch in the next few months. Naughty Dog's long-awaited The Last Of Us Part 2, which was only recently delayed to May 29th, and Ghost Of Tsushima, which is expected June 26th. At present it seems both games are expected to hit their currently intended release dates, but we'll have to wait and see.

The Last Of Us Part 2
The Last Of Us Part 2
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Sony also confirmed that four of its manufacturing plants in China were closed for 16 days from January 24th in a government-ordered effort to slow the spread of the virus. The plants started to re-open from February 10th, and while Sony said that "supply chain issues remain," operations are returning "to the level they were before the spread of the virus".

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also acknowledged the impact of coronavirus on its video game output. In a statement to GameSpot, Xbox head Matt Booty explained that safety of the company's employees and partners is the absolute priority. He also added that every studio is facing "unique challenges". While Booty didn't confirm delays were a certainty, he echoed Sony in warning that it was a possibility.

"Each studio is facing unique challenges and constraints depending on its particular location," he said. "Many of our external development partners around the world are similarly affected. We are supporting our studio leaders to make the right decisions for their teams and their individual games during this challenging time."

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The Xbox Series X, the dullest-looking games console ever revealed
The Xbox Series X, the dullest-looking games console ever revealed

No delays yet then, but we need to expect and understand that they are a possibility in the current climate. Just recently, a report from games industry research firm DFC Intelligence also suggested that Sony and Microsoft's next-gen hardware could be impacted by coronavirus.

"Coronavirus is likely to have a major short-term impact on the delivery of both systems," DFC explained in a note. "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."

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"Currently the economy is in an unprecedented state of uncertainty. Even if the situation clears up in a few weeks, the ability to manufacture and release a high-end new game system has already been severely impacted."

Xbox has since reiterated its intention to go ahead with the planned holiday 2020 launch for the Series X, though PlayStation has been slightly less open about the PS5. As is the case with most events and releases like now, Sony and Microsoft are likely intending to plan as if everything is going ahead as normal, and will adjust as and when it becomes clear they have to.

Featured Image Credit: Sony/Microsoft

Topics: Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

Ewan Moore
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