The coronavirus outbreak, more specifically Covid-19, has breached over 100,000 lives worldwide with a death toll that continues to climb. While treatment for the virus is effective with many reports of full recoveries, that hasn't stopped the fear from impacting the economy on a global scale. Since we're Prima Games, we're focusing on the gaming impact including the cancellation of quite a few major events and the future of the Summer lineup - including E3 - in question.
But it's not just events that are impacted - The Outer Worlds Nintendo Switch version was delayed due to the viral spread and now it looks like the release of the next generation of gaming could also be negatively impacted, namely with the Xbox Series X and the PS5.
When speaking with a personal contact at Xbox that chose to remain anonymous, the preparation of a delay is felt on both sides. "The GDC cancellation was big," they told me, "I don't work at Sony so I can't speak to that but I know a lot of us are preparing for what feels like the inevitable at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if next-gen got pushed back until holiday next year." Pair that with the reported issues the Microsoft camp is allegedly experiencing with pre-launch prep, and it seems like a 2020 debut isn't going to be likely.
Similar echos can be seen on social media, Reddit, and analysts tracking the Covid-19 spread. With major companies, including Sony itself, pulling from PAX East and then later GDC and the cancellation of SXSW, many feel that the cancellation of E3 is also inevitable, which would put a massive wrench in next-gen pre-marketing.
While E3 speculation is still up in the air, it's important to remember that Sony pulled out of that showcase (for the second time) pre-medical emergency and had their own plans for supplication. That being said, they too are reportedly facing their own developmental issues and the manufacturing woes spurned from the pandemic's spread only adds to the possibility of a next-gen delay.
Please remember that the Covid-19 virus is only fatal for those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly, but you can prevent spreading the infection to them - and keep yourself healthy at the same time - by practicing basic hygiene: wash your hands thoroughly, don't touch your face, pay attention to your surroundings, and even throw in some vitamins there too for a little extra boost. For more information, and accurate tracking of the spread, check out the CDC website here for more info.