The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has naturally raised concerns about whether Sony and Microsoft will be able to deliver the next-gen PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Xbox Series X consoles as planned during the Holiday 2020 shopping season.
We’ve seen publishers struggle to deliver physical copies of games, notably in the case of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Distribution hurdles triggered the latest delay to The Last of Us Part II as well.
Then we learned that Sony was gearing up for a limited launch of the PlayStation 5. The Japanese gaming giant is reportedly planning to produce as few as 5 million units by March 2021 – far fewer than the 7.5 million it manufactured within six months of the PS4’s 2013 launch.
Despite these concerns, consider yourself free to breathe a sigh of relief. There are multiple signs that both platforms are still on track for a late 2020 release.
In AMD’s Q1 earnings call earlier this week, CEO Lisa Su noted that the company was on track to “ramp production” on the chips set to feature in the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
As expected, semi-custom product revenue was negligible in the quarter, as Sony and Microsoft, both reduced inventory in advance of next-generation console launches. We expect semi-custom revenue to increase in the second quarter and be heavily weighted towards the second-half of the year, as we ramp production to support the holiday launches of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
Teams are doing a really good job with keeping our hardware on track. On the hardware side, we feel good about our plans. There’s obviously some impact on schedules, but overall we’re in line with where we though we would be.
The Xbox boss does point out that the picture is different when it comes to the games. He notes:
I’d say the bigger unknown is probably the game production, just being honest. Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.
Overall, the news is positive. Xbox is gearing up for a next-gen, game-focused episode of Inside Xbox on May 7, while a widely rumored PlayStation 5 reveal event is expected soon – either in May or next month.
Both events suggest Xbox and PlayStation marketing plans are on track for their consoles’ slated 2020 releases.