Even though yesterday, Sony announced that The Last Of Us 2 and Iron Man VR would be getting indefinitely delayed because of the coronavirus, that might not be the end of it. Because of the coronavirus, next-gen game delays may make the PS5 and Xbox Series X very thin indeed.
While The Last Of Us 2 was nearly ready to go, with Naughty Dog very close to completely finishing the game, the problem with the delay wasn’t that the game wasn’t done, but that logistically Sony couldn’t find a way to distribute the game properly on account of the virus.
With many countries quarantined and shut down on account of the pandemic, with many people being told to stay home or work from home unless they’re in an essential business (grocery stores, pharmacies, and the like), the business of printing, shipping, and selling the physical games likely can’t happen.
Depending on what next-gen game delays do end up happening, if Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X do end up launching on time despite the coronavirus, their subordinate studios may not end up being able to put out their games in time for similar reasons, and that’s not even getting into what might happen if either console also has distribution difficulties.
We still have eight months until either console is supposed to release, so there may yet be a high likelihood that by the time the pandemic is over that they’ll be able to release the consoles on time. Even then though, there may not be as many titles in the final year of the Xbox One and Playstation 4.
Phil Spencer of Microsoft is at least confident that Halo Infinite will be releasing on time even with the coronavirus, but he is also aware that the Xbox Series X launch lineup won’t be as robust as it could be. Hopefully the pandemic will burn out quickly and all of these next-gen game delays won’t happen, but who knows.