'Strong likelihood' of Xbox Series X delay to 2021, says analyst

Xbox Series X Controller
Xbox Series X Controller (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have a "strong likelihood" of missing their scheduled late 2020 release windows, according to a new report from DFC Intelligence.
  • With widely-reported supply chain issues in China, various hurdles may result in a delay or highly-limited availability.

The delay of next-generation consoles appears to be inching closer to reality, according to a new report from games industry research firm, DFC Intelligence. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, better known as coronavirus, we're seeing record industry impact, following the cancellation of top conferences likes GDC and E3 2020, and various product delays. Supply chain issues instigated by coronavirus may also hit Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, during prime time for both platform holders.

A newly-published DFC Intelligence statement, as reported by Forbes, suggests a "strong likelihood" of delay to one or both upcoming flagship consoles.

"Coronavirus is likely to have a major short-term impact on the delivery of both systems," states DFC. "There is a strong likelihood one or both systems will not make a 2020 launch. If the systems do launch, supply will likely be constrained and initial pricing could be higher than expected."

"Currently, the economy is in an unprecedented state of uncertainty. Even if the situation clears up in a few weeks, the ability to manufacture and release a high-end new game system has already been severely impacted."

Read more: What does the coronavirus pandemic mean for Xbox Series X?

Xbox Series X Game Awards

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

We previously discussed the potential of an Xbox Series X delay due to coronavirus, with the traditionally China-made console set to navigate a turbulent market. For Microsoft, that follows supply chain issues hitting forecasted Surface and Windows OEM revenue, as Redmond reportedly aims to diversify production into northern Vietnam. While firms like Microsoft and Google have looked beyond China in response to the ongoing trade war, coronavirus accelerates those efforts in 2020.

The outcome remains unclear, whether either Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 see a delay, or release with limited availability. While AMD recently suggested both consoles are on track for later this year, the rapidly-changing nature of the outbreak only increases the uncertainty of hitting that deadline.

We previously asked Microsoft if it can still commit to the Xbox Series X release during holiday 2020, however, declined to comment.

Xbox Series X Reveal

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 could halt availability until 2021, but DFC Intelligence still expects strong sales for both devices. It states "demand will far exceed supply," not uncommon for any new console.

"The good news is that consumer demand is likely to be stronger than ever. Demand will far exceed supply and long-term that could increase overall sales. In addition, the abundance of government and public caution should help assure this is a comparatively short-term crisis."

"Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will release to record consumer demand. The challenge Sony and Microsoft face is making sure they release systems that meet expectations. Given the current situation, waiting to make sure they get the initial product right is the most prudent choice."

Xbox Series X/S


Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.