Microsoft won’t “push when things just aren’t ready,” says Spencer.
Despite reports earlier in the year that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might result in delays for the release of the upcoming next-gen consoles, Microsoft have maintained that the Xbox Series X is on track to launch this Holiday. However, while the company is confident of the console hitting its intended launch window, there’s much less certainty where software is concerned.
Speaking to CNBC, head of Xbox Phil Spencer re-iterated that the Xbox Series X is “in line with” the timeline Microsoft have planned for its release, but suggested that release dates of games are “the bigger unknown” right now, as developers attempt to stay on schedule amidst work-from-home requirements.
“Overall, I think we’re in line with where we thought we would be,” said Spencer. “I’d say the bigger unknown is probably the game production. Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.”
Spencer added that should games need to be delayed in case their development progress is behind schedule, Microsoft will do the needful, and will not “push when things just aren’t ready.”
Perhaps the biggest Microsoft game coming up in the foreseeable future is Halo Infinite. In March, developer 343 Industries transitioned to remote work, saying, “We’re removing all the obstacles in our path and tracking well, but need to be mindful of our current limitations and understand that the coronavirus situation may get worse before it gets better.”
Microsoft will be unveiling various Xbox Series X games in a digital event next week, (during which gameplay for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will also premiere). Apparently, first party studios have some big things planned for this summer.