A new report suggests Microsoft had the perfect plan to trounce the PlayStation 5 (PS5) with its Series X launch - but Xbox blew it.
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.
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.
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.
The promise of near-zero load times, improved graphics, and a slew of next-gen ready titles are but a few factors that mean fans are more than willing to transition.
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.