When will we finally be able to lay our hands on a brand-new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X? We’re only months away from the holiday season, and yet, neither Sony or Microsoft have given us a precise release date or opened pre-orders. The Xbox Series X is coming sometime in November, but that’s about all we know for sure right now. Well, the reliable folks at Video Games Chronicle have been doing some digging with their industry and development sources, and a clearer picture may be beginning to emerge.
Both the Sony and Microsoft are reportedly planning early-to-mid November launch dates for their new consoles. Sony in particular seems to be eyeing a November 13 PS5 release, as the company has a major advertising spend scheduled to start then. According to VGC, Microsoft is looking to beat Sony to the punch, and will likely launch the Xbox Series X in the first week of November, although they could slip into the second week. It unlikely either company will launch later in the month in the vicinity of Black Friday, as they don’t want the PS5/XSX to be overshadowed by sales.
Of course, take this all with a pinch of salt, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes all this more uncertain than it would usually be. That said, Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad thinks both Sony and Microsoft should be able to get something to shelves…
We expect Sony and Microsoft to launch next generation consoles as planned this holiday, despite disruption to the supply chain earlier this year due to Covid-19. Production for both consoles began at the end of June in order to meet demand for the holiday launch. While production is ramping up and component scarcity is less of an issue than before, we believe that logistics issues will be a barrier for both platform holders to overcome this holiday, with the impact from Covid-19 leading to long shipping times and shortages on store shelves during the launch period. We expect Sony and Microsoft to utilise air shipments, which will cost more, to meet demand this year.
Now, given the headaches caused by COVID-19, could we see some sort of staggered release for the new consoles? It seems it could happen, as the official Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War website says the PS5 launch game arrives “Holiday 2020 in the U.S. and Canada, and in late 2020 for the rest of the world” hinting North Americans may get the machine a bit before those in Europe and elsewhere. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
What do you think? Will Sony and Microsoft be able to stick to their November launch plans? Who will pull the trigger first?