'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 is 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.

  • Honestly, I'm not expecting anything from 2020 anymore.
  • Yeah, 2020 is basically over and it's only March... Hopefully we'll see Coronavirus level off as awareness spreads and the warmer weather approaches, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • I am, but only because I don't want to get infected. :-)
  • Honestly, This is not a bad thing. I am enjoying some great titles on different platforms. If this gives both Microsoft and Sony more time to further develop next gen titles. I am all for it and will enjoy some awesome games in 2021. I mostly play on PC, so like many I been enjoying next gen graphics and performance with my 2080ti
  • I think you missed the point. The reason for the delay is because they cannot work or are working at drastically reduced pace, so nothing is getting more refined or better off than it would be otherwise.
  • Maybe not, but I can get another year of value out of the games I already have on the Xbox one X. So I agree with Mr. Dark that it's not a bad thing (for consumers).
  • Double post. Sorry.
  • Well reading what the analyst wrote it's sounds like a total guess. He says that 1 or both new consoles could be delayed or release but be supply constrained. That doesn't sound like what the article title suggests at all. It sounds like the sort of analysis that Michael Patcher does. And Patcher gets it wrong 90% of the time. It honestly sounds like a cover all bases analyst report. We will know more soon enough. The only system that has had any negative reports around making its console and having part issues is PS5 so far. Particularly around the SSD. A problem Xbox hasn't had because it's highly Rumoured Series X is using the new Phision controller.
  • Honestly I'll be more likely to listen to an actual gaming analyst than someone like you who makes up numbers and stuff because of some kind of agenda to make the product(s) of ONE company look good.
  • Micalhael Patcher is a gaming analyst. And is the most paid of the lot to. And he gets everything wrong. There is a running joke about him Online. The very fact today MS has showed the entire finished product via Digital Foundry and even finished individual manufactured parts IMO puts the whole Xbox being delayed thing to bed. I'm almost 100% certain after yet another transparent reveal by MS that Xbox Series X will launch this year. And PS5 will be delayed by at least 6 months. Sony has literally gone full dormant on PS5. We should absolutely have had info by now.
  • This isn't not Patcher so...
    And even if it was, I would believe more than someone like you. You would literally be one of the last person on earth that I would trust seeing the number of times you made up stuff as you have a clear agenda to promote one company...
    You made up so many things and got so many things wrong, I just don't know how you can keep going on and on... I'll just wait and see what happens. I rather comment on things that happen and talk facts than speculate and throw wild numbers and fake stats...
  • maybe they'll use the time to invest in finishing materials instead of that 3d printed case dating back to windows phone.
  • I think your in the wrong article. No phone cases here. Lol.
  • look at the controller you have.
  • I honestly don't know what your talking about.
  • I don't expect a delay to alter the price, as those are usually set for the first year or so. And neither will be eager to sting the customer, due to the certain public outcry. He'll, these are gonna be highly priced anyway.