So far, gamers outside of Asia have been largely unaffected by Coronavirus, but that could soon change. According to analysts at the Jeffries Group, potential shutdowns at factories could delay the Xbox Series X and PS5 releases or significantly hamper supply.
“The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years' product generation change for the 2020 holiday season,” said Jefferies Group. “If [company] shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed. New consoles may likewise suffer supply issues from a prolonged disruption, ahead of their Fall 2020 planned launches.”
Basically all of the parts for consoles are made in China, meaning factory shutdowns could have a big impact. A delay beyond the holiday season would be disastrous for either company, with an early 2021 launch likely to reduce sales significantly.
The titles that launch on the consoles could also experience issues. While most AAA titles we play in the west are created here, many studios outsource artwork to Chinese firms – to the tune of 30-50% of art creation.
An estimated 638 people have died from Coronavirus so far. The infection count is thought to be at least 31,000, 15% of whom are in critical condition. The virus's 2-14 day incubation period is particularly difficult, as patients can spread it to others long before presenting symptoms. Once issues are presented, they have to be quarantined, which means long stretches off work.
Those who passed away as a result of the virus were, for the most part, over the age of 60 or had pre-existing health conditions. Even so, limiting the spread of the outbreak must take precedence over shipping the devices on time.