Could the launch of Xbox Series X be delayed?

Will the coronavirus delay the Xbox Series X (opens in new tab)? As COVID-19 tears its way across the globe the consequences can be seen in its human victims, a tumbling stock market, and the cancellation of events that draw large crowds. While the main concern will always be the health and welfare of people around the world, the effects of the virus could have a knock-on effect on the launch of the Xbox Series X far into the future. 

Making a console like the Xbox Series X is not a simple procedure, requiring the work of hundreds of people manufacturing hundreds of parts from factories across the globe. A delay or closure at any one of the links in that chain could mean that when the new consoles go on sale in time for the holidays, there are fewer units than usual.

Coronavirus delays and cancellations 

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

We’re already beginning to see the outbreak affect games studios. Developers like Bungie (opens in new tab), Valve, and Microsoft in Seattle have instructed their staff to work from home, and events like GDC and SXSW have been canceled, with the future of even the titanic E3 in doubt. 

Production of the Nintendo Switch is already showing the strain, with pre-orders for the  Animal Crossing-themed Switch and its matching carrying case delayed in Japan (opens in new tab)

Lower profile consoles, like Konami’s TurboGrafx-16 Mini have been delayed indefinitely. “The manufacturing and shipping facilities in China have encountered an unavoidable suspension due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” the company said in a statement (opens in new tab). “As a result, the delivery of all PC Engine Core Grafx mini products, which was originally scheduled for March 19th, 2020, will be delayed until further notice.”

The Oculus Quest VR headset has been affected – with Facebook citing (opens in new tab) “additional impact to our hardware production” – and Valve’s Index VR headset similarly affected. “The global coronavirus health crisis has impacted our production schedules so we will have far fewer units for sale during the coming months compared to the volumes we originally planned,” Valve said. This is a particular blow for Valve, which will release new VR title Half Life: Alyx on March 23.

We’ll keep this page updated with any news on delays or supply issues for the Xbox Series X. Stay safe out there, and wash your hands. 

Here are the unexpected Xbox One and PS5 features (opens in new tab) we think could define next-gen.

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