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With Microsoft announcing that we’ll all get a look at Xbox Series X gameplay on May 7th, it’s also fantastic to hear that despite COVID-19, the Xbox Series X console will still launch Holiday 2020. On the other hand, there is speculation that launch window games won’t hit their slated dates and could leave consumers waiting until the new year.
Phil Spencer, Xbox chief, has stated that even though the console is set for launch in that holiday window, there has been“some impact” but “the teams are doing a very good job with keeping our hardware on track” and “overall we’re in line with where we thought we would be.” However, he goes on to say that the next generation of games could see delays:
“I’d say the bigger unknown is probably the game production, just being honest,” says Spencer. “Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.”
He may be referring to the likes of third party developers here as Microsoft has already committed to launching the console with Halo Infinite but with the already announced delays of Wasteland 3 and Minecraft Dungeons, there is a doubt cast on whether this will be the case. Hopefully, we may see the first-party launch titles still coming in at their scheduled times and not be left with a pricey paperweight.
He did praise developers though and still ‘feels good’ about their ability to get these games completed on time. He also goes on to say that he needs “to make sure that the security and safety of the teams is the most important thing, and not unduly push when things just aren’t ready” so no games go out half-baked and at the cost of the developers’ health.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the effects of COVID-19 impact the release days of those launch window titles but it’s reassuring that Spencer has the confidence to say that the console will launch in it’s expected time frame.
We eagerly anticipating the May 7th event and what Microsoft showcases. Maybe there will be a little more clarity of how the gaming industry will look in the latter months of the year and what dates will be put next to the games on show.