The COVID-19 pandemic his severely impacted the gaming world, causing almost every major esports event to be canceled or postponed. Some consoles have been impacted by the virus due to strained supply lines or production, but at least one console is still on track for a 2020 release.
Microsoft has confirmed that it’s still on track to launch the Xbox Series X during the 2020 holiday season and that it has yet to consider a “plan B.” IGN recently spoke with the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, about the launch of the Series X and if any alternative plans are being considered.
“We haven’t really started on any kind of plan b, as you asked about,” Spencer said. “We have nothing right now that says we’re not going to make the dates that we’ve been planning.”
Spencer did confirm that the company will continue to monitor the situation and that it won’t risk the safety of its team or the quality of the console for a release. “I don’t want to rush a product out if it’s not ready,” Spencer said.
COVID-19 may not cause the launch of the console to be delayed, but it can still cause a shortage upon release. The Xbox One was delayed during its launch in several territories, which was poorly received by the locations affected. Spencer said that the company has learned from these mistakes and won’t repeat them.
“I will say, having lived through the Xbox One launch, I know that significant delays in region launches hurt us,” Spencer said. “It hurt us with the sentiment of the fans.”
“If everything was there, for the software and the services of the hardware, I don’t think I would hold it for any individual game,” Spencer said. “Obviously the big one you think about is Halo… but I don’t think we’d hold the launch of the overall platform for any individual game.”
As of now, fans can still expect a new Xbox console this holiday season. The Xbox Series X is the most powerful console Microsoft has ever created and even features a unique upright design. If the COVID-19 virus continues to impact supply lines and production, however, fans might have a hard time finding the console in stores later this year.