- Microsoft originally planned to launch the Xbox Series X in August 2020, according to a new report.
- As it stands, the next-gen console is slated for release during the 2020 holiday period.
- By shifting the release window, Microsoft squandered its best chance at securing a lead against the PS5.
If a new report has any substance, Microsoft lost out on a potential early lead for its upcoming next-gen Xbox Series X against Sony’s PS5.
According to Thurrott’s Brad Sam, Microsoft originally planned to release the Xbox Series X this August, months ahead of the speculative Holiday 2020 launch window the company currently has its sights on.
The First Next-Gen Console Was Supposed to Drop Even Sooner Than We Expected
Speaking about Microsoft’s heavily-rumored, budget-conscious Xbox Series X variant, Sams explains (emphasis added):
Here’s a fun fact though, the original launch plans for Lockhart was that it was going to be released in Mid-October. That may not sound all that surprising, but Anaconda, the series X, was going to release in late August; clearly plans have been adjusted since the conception of the hardware.
Historically, platform holders have released consoles towards the tail end of their respective launch years.
A late summer launch is as unexpected as it is shrewd. Microsoft’s early release plans would likely have been pivotal in establishing an early lead against the PS5.
Xbox Blew a Perfect Chance for a Head Start on the PS5
Indeed, the appetite for the next-gen consoles grows with each passing day. It’s been seven years since the current-gen consoles released. And they are certainly starting to show their age.
Microsoft may not have had much of a say in the release window shift due to the unavoidable impact of the pandemic on its plans. Nevertheless, there’s a sense the gaming giant may have squandered its best chance at securing early adopters.
An August release would have fundamentally changed the current dynamic. Sony would have been forced to operate on the back foot. Its marketing would have inevitably focused on setting the PS5 apart from the Xbox Series X.
But given the scale of the next-gen hype, convincing gamers that the PS5 packed enough of a punch to justify waiting an extra three to four months longer to purchase a new console would have been a hard sell.
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Last modified: September 23, 2020 2:01 PM