Opinion: Don’t be surprised if we don’t get new consoles at the end of 2020

The whole world is in a bit of a spin right now. Globally, everyone is scrambling to contain a virus that many don’t understand just yet.

The Covid-19 coronavirus is all over the news right now. Everyone is talking about it and there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty about it. Scientists across the world are still hard at work to try and understand it, and produce a vaccine for it. At the time of writing, over 95,000 people have been infected worldwide, and more than 3,200 people have sadly lost their lives. We here in South Africa are lucky not to be affected by it just yet.

But, since many are still looking at the impact it has on people and their health, we are forgetting to look at the bigger picture this will outbreak will undoubtedly have on the world. Currently the world economy is completely shaken to an extent not seen since 2009. The virus has impacted other sectors as well, with sporting events being postponed or cancelled, exhibitors pulling out of events and even the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo being in doubt. So how does this impact us as video gaming consumers?

It’s made in China

The virus originated in China, and effectively shut that country down, threatening to collapse that economy. China is also responsible for manufacturing the vast majority of the consumer electronics we use, including TVs, mobile phones, computer hardware and components and you guessed it, gaming consoles.

So with all this in mind, there is a very big possibility that we might not see the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X later this year as expected. And if it does, you can expect it to release only in select markets, and at a substantially higher price than expected. Keep in mind this is my opinion and purely speculation, but hear me out.

Hardware and components are going to become very hard to come by since it is simply not being made. Even if manufacturing starts up today, the backlog will be massive, with everyone needing their stuff made to fulfill orders, so new hardware like phones and game consoles being announced might have to wait their turn, or pay a premium to bump it up the queue.

We already know that Sony isn’t sure how to price the PS5, and there is no doubt the coronavirus outbreak is impacting their business strategy. It is very probable why we haven’t heard any new announcements just yet, as it might create some sort of expectation, which in reality might not be met. Microsoft has been a bit more forthcoming with news on the Series X, but even they haven’t announced anything concrete just yet. The only advantage they really have is the better cloud infrastructure and overall better service, which is a very big part of their strategy going into the next generation.

So, as I said, don’t be surprised if the next generation consoles are delayed, or if it is stupidly expensive. If you want to go next gen, get a Switch, but do so quickly before stocks run out and the prices go up.

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