Sony intends to release the PlayStation 5 (PS5) this holiday season, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic. A spokeswoman for the company spoke with Bloomberg about how the situation has affected their plans. She says they don’t see any notable impact the outbreak will have on the system’s launch.
In terms of other aspects, there are no announced game delays, although two previously shutdown Chinese factories are facing “component shortages” after reopening. These factories were closed for weeks, and Malaysia and UK facilities remain closed until April. This could affect first-party PS5 games, like The Last of Us Part 2, which is still set to come out in May. Sony released a statement and says they are “carefully monitoring the risk of delays” for upcoming titles.
Sony Corp. expects the COVID-19 outbreak to erase a previously projected increase in profit, as they postpone their April earnings report. Apple and Twitter are among other companies who’ve been forced to scrap financial forecasts due to this pandemic. Sony supplies Apple with their smartphone camera image sensors, which were in high demand. Sales for electronics like this have gone down in recent weeks as the COVID-19 situation progressed. However, the PlayStation 5 is competing directly with the Xbox Series X, so it makes sense why the company doesn’t plan on switching release dates.
Many Sony locations remain closed in accordance with their local and national government mandates, and employees in places like Japan are being made to work from home. Physical game releases may suffer due to quarantines and store closures, while digital game releases will be affected by slowed game download speeds on the PlayStation Network. Sony closes its statement saying “Any possible future impact is not limited to the scope of the information contained in this release. Going forward, Sony will announce any material updates in a timely manner.”