The current pandemic of COVID-19 has disrupted life at basically every level. Whether that be every day workers to the plans of major billion dollar corporations, just about everyone has felt the pain in some form or fashion. Conferences have been delayed, studios have had to transition to work at home, and many players are stuck at home. This has lead to some doubt as to whether or not the next generation of consoles can make this year like planned. The biggest factor is that China was one of the hardest hit areas, and that’s where most of the systems will be assembled. But it seems, for now, Microsoft is holding strong.
In an interview on IGN Unlocked, Phil Spencer talked in length about the Xbox Series X. While there was nothing new per say, he did once again reassure us that Microsoft is aiming to make that Holiday 2020 time frame. He points to most production lines in China opening back up and says as it stands now there’s no indication a delay is on hand. However, he does leave the door open to the release possibly being pushed back just in case due to the situation everyone is in.
“I’d say pragmatically the supply chains in China have started to come back. I think we’ve seen that in the news that China was obviously earlier in dealing with C-19 before it spread and I think that we can see in the factories and stuff we’re starting to get reports back from them and that that’s working for us. The two big issues we’re kind of monitoring right now, you know, building a video game from home — a large distributed team of hundreds of people is not easy. Video games as we know right now are big and there’s huge massive asset bases that each one of these games have and how you transition I think all those things are… we’re just kind of living.
“On the hardware platform side, I think I made it public when I had my Series X at home and I’m using it for testing. As much as I have a great time doing that, that kind of time with the console is important and we want to make sure that we’ve got the right amount of time for the platform tech that we’re putting in place to get all the testing done so we’ve had to move a lot of that testing in the homes. I’d say things right now aren’t easy. I think things are stretched I can feel it in the teams, they’re stretched. We have nothing right now that says we’re not going to make the dates that we’ve been planning, but I’ll also say it, as I said earlier, this is kind of real-time stuff and I’m gonna put the safety and security of the teams at the top along with the quality product. Like, I don’t want to rush a product out if it’s not ready. So, feeling good but also just being eyes wide open.”
It’s not the first time Microsoft have quelled fears of a delay of their console– hell, it’s not even the second time in recent memory. It seems they’re confident that the Xbox Series X will be on store shelves come this Holiday season. Of course, we live in some truly uncertain times right now where even the best laid plans can fall apart at any moment, so you can never be too sure.