Xbox more concerned about COVID-19 effect on game production than console production

It seems that the Xbox Series X console may not be impacted the same way game production has been.

6

As we hurtle through 2020 at an alarming pace, we can’t help but think about how dates are being impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It would seem it’s also on the minds of executives like Xbox’s Head of Gaming, Phil Spencer. While numerous delays have cropped up due to the coronavirus, Spencer seems confident it hasn’t affected the production of the Xbox Series X. What it has affected is the production of the games.

Delays in game production more likely than Xbox Series X production

CNBC reported on Spencer’s comments on April 30, 2020. This conversation stemmed from CNBC’s Squawk Alley, where Spencer got to talking about the Xbox Series X. In this talk, Spencer said that he believes the team are “in line with where we thought we would be,” when it comes to the production of the Xbox Series X.

xbox series x console production on schedule
Production of the Xbox Series X console is still on track, according to Xbox's Head of Gaming, Phil Spencer

Spencer went on to note that the development of the games is where the biggest unknown factor lies. The reason for this unknown is that game developer is, as he puts it, “a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.” The process of creating something is a constantly shifting landscape that requires the attention and cooperation of hundreds of people, so it’s no surprise that it’s where production staggers during a pandemic. Compare this to the production of the Xbox Series X, which by all accounts seems to be finalized with the only thing remaining being mass production.

Annie Pei of CNBC goes on to write about what this delay could mean for some of the big ticket games scheduled for release this year. Sony has already delayed The Last of Us Part 2, so it’s possible we might see some Xbox titles pushed back.

Xbox Series X Halo Infinite still on track
Xbox seems to be aware of the potential game development has for delays due to COVID-19. However, Halo Infinite has received no delays due to the pandemic.

In saying this, Halo Infinite has received no delays and seems to be on track for its release alongside the next Xbox, an event that hasn’t happened since Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the original Xbox in 2001.

With the unveiling of Xbox Series X games set to happen next week during Inside Xbox, it will be interesting to see what release dates, if any, are on the table. We already know that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be one of the games shown at the event, though fans are also likely waiting with baited breath for more on Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 and Halo Infinite.

The Xbox Series X is still scheduled to release during the holiday period at the end of 2020. Be sure to keep it locked to Shacknews as we continue to cover the effects of COVID-19 on the gaming industry.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 1, 2020 5:53 AM

      So, we’ll have the box but just not much of the things that go into the box.

      • reply
        May 1, 2020 5:57 AM

        I'm going to buy it because I can XB1 games on it the stupid suspend/resume feature breaking (hopefully).

        It would be nice if I didn't have to waste 5 minutes to jump back into a game after putting it down for a while.

      • reply
        May 1, 2020 8:55 PM

        I don't think that's the takeaway, exactly. As stated, Halo Infinite is still on track, plus there's the immense catalogue thanks to Xbox's unprecedented backwards compatibility program.

    • reply
      May 1, 2020 6:03 AM

      Honestly, they could have zero new games and probably still sell through their launch-day quantities based on their backwards-compat record and gamepass.

      • reply
        May 1, 2020 7:50 AM

        I'm considering the console just for the gamepass. Been a playstation guy for a long time but man it seems like such a good deal.

        • reply
          May 1, 2020 8:17 AM

          Yeah it really does.

          I'm ready to jump ship unless Sony wows me with a comparable business model.

      • reply
        May 1, 2020 10:40 AM

        Ya that has always been my thought as well. They talk about if the consoles should be delayed on a few podcasts I listen too and there is zero reason for Sony or Microsoft to delay the consoles themselves. They will sell through the initial allotment no matter what and it doesn't hurt to have them out there making money instead of sitting in a warehouse doing nothing.

    • reply
      May 1, 2020 9:24 AM

      Yea I am waiting a year on the new consoles. I bought PS4 at launch and it pretty much sat for a year. Most games are on PC and my favorite console, the Switch is better anyways.

    • reply
      May 1, 2020 1:50 PM

      I don't have an Xbox One, so I'm okay with this. I'm planning on upgrading to Game Pass Ultra anyways, so I'll take the time to catch up on a few games while the XBX specific titles catch up.

Hello, Meet Lola