We are quickly closing in on the holiday 2020 season, which in turn means that we’re closing in on the launches of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. While Microsoft has committed to a November release for the Xbox Series X, that’s as specific as either company has been regarding these launch plans. Sony, in fact, has only ever confirmed a holiday 2020 launch for the PlayStation 5, which is a fairly large release window.
We don’t know when Sony and Microsoft will give us precise release dates for their consoles, but a new report from Video Games Chronicle claims that the two consoles should be launching close to one another. Specifically, VGC’s report says that Sony is lining up a mid-November release date for the PlayStation 5, according to development and retail sources with knowledge of Sony’s plans.
Those same sources say they expect the Xbox Series X to launch before the PlayStation 5, but with Microsoft committing to a November launch already, it sounds like that head start won’t be a big one. So, if Sony and Microsoft are both expected to release their consoles in November, why hasn’t either company committed to a date yet?
In short, because of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Spikes in the spread of the virus could disrupt everything from supply chains to production to shipping even more than the pandemic already has, and that could complicate a launch. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad told VGC that while Sony and Microsoft are both expected to stick to their originally-announced release windows for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the COVID-19 pandemic will probably still present logistics problems.
So, even when these consoles do launch, it sounds like we can expect shortages – nothing new for a console release, of course, but it’s something that could be further complicated by the pandemic. Obviously, we should remain somewhat skeptical even with this report, because plans could change depending on the pandemic, but for now it seems that November is the month to watch for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.