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Before the outbreak COVID-19, this was set to be a big year for gaming hardware, with both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 set to launch this holiday season. Of course, the pandemic has potentially thrown those plans into disarray, particularly since the Wuhan region where the virus first emerged is at the heart of Chinese electronics manufacturing zone. Both Microsoft and Sony have said they’re committed to releasing their new hardware by the end of 2020, but beyond that, they’ve remained mum about what effect COVID-19 might have on supplies of the Xbox Series X and PS5.
Well, a new article from CNBC may provide a glint of hope. When asked whether Microsoft would be able to deliver the Xbox Series X and new Surface products this year, the company’s CEO was optimistic, saying “on the supply side we are getting back on rails.”
Overall, Nadella says Microsoft is well positioned to ride out this pandemic and accompanying economic downturn, and says their cloud infrastructure, which represents the fastest growing segment of their business, is holding up well.
We have a great balance sheet, we are a very diverse business. […] I feel confident we’ll come out of this, frankly, pretty strong. If this was a previous generation of data center architectures or software architectures, I don’t think we would have been able to deal with this crisis as effectively.
Of course, even if Microsoft manages to get new hardware on the market, it doesn’t guarantee there will be demand, as the coronavirus pandemic may drag on, forcing many around the world to tighten their belts. Also, while China seems to have a handle on COVID-19 for now (if you believe government reporting on the matter), the country could very well be hit with another wave of the virus. Everything is still very much up in the air at this point.
What do you think? Do you think new hardware from Microsoft and other companies will arrive as planned this year? If it does, will supplies be limited?