The coronavirus outbreak has thrown a wrench into several industries worldwide, leading to concerns that the launch of Xbox Series X could be pushed back. Microsoft has to take into account several factors, ranging from both safety and logistics on a large scale, for a smooth landing. For the time being though, all schedules are still targeting the same holiday 2020 release window.
Speaking with IGN in a recent podcast, Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox brand, noted that delaying Xbox Series X in any particular region will hurt Microsoft in the long run. He further stated that Xbox One being delayed in Japan by several months is not something Microsoft wants to repeat.
I will say that having lived through the Xbox One launch, I know that significant delays in region launches hurt us. It hurts us with the sentiment of the fans. Every time I go to Japan I’m reminded that we were, what was it, nine months late in launching there with Xbox One. And the internet, I mean, everybody knows where everything is launched so it’s not like, you know, thirty years ago when it was kind of it’s just not here yet and you don’t get the roar of people getting excited from other regions.
Hence, there is no “Plan B” — at least not presently — where Microsoft starts drawing up new models for a limited launch in different regions. Spencer made it clear that all efforts are being made to make Xbox Series X available worldwide during the holiday season at the end of the year.
We haven’t started on that Plan B, but I’d be hesitant to do something like that and fundamentally some of the issues that we have to work through are more software related than hardware and when you’re done with software it kind of scales globally so I’m not predicting that. But you know, I think as I said we’re just managing day-to-day kind of watching how things are going and watching our productivity.
Spencer also pointed out that the supply chains in China are slowly returning, as indicated recently by the mainstream news. Microsoft is also receiving regular reports from “factories and stuff” to indicate that everything is going according to plan. Hence, fans of the Xbox brand will be happy to know that despite the coronavirus outbreak, and a redacted Thanksgiving deadline, the company is sticking the holiday 2020 timeline for Xbox Series X.