Xbox Series X chief talks console release: There’s good news and bad

Eric Abent - May 1, 2020, 9:20am CDT
Xbox Series X chief talks console release: There’s good news and bad

2020 is slated to be a big year for the games industry, but so far, the COVID-19 pandemic has done a really good job of disrupting release timelines and marketing plans. There’s some concern that Sony and Microsoft won’t be able to launch their new consoles on time because of the outbreak, but at least as far as the Xbox Series X is concerned, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It isn’t all good news for Microsoft though, as it still might have to contend with delayed games for its new consoles.

Games, of course, are paramount to a console’s success, so if launch titles – or those that are scheduled to release shortly after the Xbox Series X arrives – are delayed, it could result in the console getting off to a slow start. Still, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told CNBC that Microsoft can likely deliver the Xbox Series X on time.

“Overall, I think we’re in line with where we thought we would be,” Spencer said in regards to the Xbox Series X. “I’d say the bigger unknown is probably the game production. Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.”

Spencer is right that game development is often a monumental task, and now many studios are stuck working and collaborating on these projects remotely. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that many developers may be working a slower schedule than usual, which will ultimately lead to delays depending on how long these teams have to work from home.

In the case of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, we’ll just have to see what kind of impact the COVID-19 pandemic has in the end. The good news is that Spencer says Microsoft won’t push developers to get their games out the door, telling CNBC that the safety of the company’s teams are its top priority at the moment. Microsoft is set to reveal our first look at Xbox Series X gameplay on May 7th on a new episode of Inside Xbox, so we’ll be watching that and covering it as it happens.


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