PS5 and Xbox Series must be delayed till 2021 – Reader’s Feature

Should it be delayed? (pic: Sony)

A reader argues that Sony and Microsoft would be best to delay the launch of the next gen consoles until at least next spring.

So just when everyone thought things couldn’t get worse than 2019, along comes 2020 to hold its beer. I’m talking about world events, not video games (2019 was at worse forgettable when it comes to games) but this year it’s both. The driest start to a year on record, serious delays for almost every major release, and then… the coronavirus.

And lest we forget Sony and Nintendo were already on silent running before the current crisis began. Sony had already cancelled going to E3 and had decided to say nothing until Mark Cerny put everyone to sleep the other day (and still said nothing). Nintendo started the year by saying nothing and have somehow managed to keep their mouth shut through five separate Nintendo Directs so far.

Microsoft still hasn’t revealed any games but at least they’ve been a bit more open, although we still have no idea why Sony, and particularly Nintendo, is being so secretive. The most interesting thing Microsoft has said this year is their admission the other day that it’s not whether they can make enough Xbox Series X before Christmas that’s the problem, it’s whether anyone will actually be interested.

The company on the back foot always tends to be the straight talker and I think this is the clearest indication we’ve got of what the plan is for both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. My understanding of the coronavirus (and I’m obviously no expert) is that it will continue to be at least as bad as it is now till June, at which time the warmer weather will put things relatively back to normal until the number of cases rises again at winter, although not by as much.

The crisis will only have a chance of being over by around this time next year, when there’ll be some degree of herd immunity and, hopefully, a vaccine. It’s at that point I think they should release the new consoles.

There are multiple problems with releasing them this Christmas as planned, and the most straightforward is the one hinted at by Microsoft: by that point people will have no money and will be sick of sitting indoors playing video games.

I read a report that said video game usage is up 75% at the moment, but what goes up must come down. The second people think it’s safe they’re going to be heading for the great outdoors and they are going to be absolutely sick of the four walls of their home. Plus, they’ll probably be skint and/or out of a job (I know mine hangs in the balance as we speak, let alone anyone else.)

The other problem is that whatever launch games Microsoft and Sony have planned are probably going to get delayed because of the disruptions going on at the moment. Launch games are always last minute, so this is probably much more of a problem than getting the console ready in time.

Then there are also smaller issues, like the lack of hype build up. By normal standards we would’ve seen both consoles by now and had hands-on previews, but that’s clearly not going to happen all year.

I think either console trying to get in first is going to find themselves making a big mistake and whoever holds back will be able to say wait for them and the real start of the next gen. Not only will people have more money then but there’ll be more time to make decent games (always a problem at launch, no matter what else is going on) and do some proper marketing (remember, Sony’s original plan was hundreds of consumer events).

I’d say there’s currently a better than even chance of that happening and I think it’s definitely the most sensible option. The other is for one or both to try and steamroller the launch and rely on a lack of stock making it look desirable and backwards compatibility making up for the lack of new games. That’s a big risk though and Microsoft in particular can’t afford to have a bad launch.

I don’t envy either company the decisions they must be making right now, but in my opinion the launches must be delayed. Then we can just add the lack of next gen consoles to the long list of reasons why everyone would rather just forget 2020.

By reader Keef

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email and follow us on Twitter.


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