Since the dawn of the coronavirus outbreak, many of us have been following the news far more than usual. With the United States ahead of the world in confirmed cases, the pandemic has come home to roost.
There are currently Thousands and thousands of confirmed cases of the virus around the world. So, what does this have to do with PS5 preorders and gaming in general? As it turns out, quite a lot.
Some Good News in These Uncertain Times
There’s not a lot of good news out there these days, but the world of gaming does have a few things for us to talk about that offer some slight silver linings.
For starters, the World Health Organization is now recommending that people play more games in general.
You don’t have to tell me twice. Ray Chambers, World Health Organization Ambassador for Global Strategy, also highlighted this sentiment in a tweet:
We’re at a crucial moment in defining outcomes of this pandemic. Games industry companies have a global audience – we encourage all to #PlayApartTogether. More physical distancing + other measures will help to flatten the curve + save lives. https://t.co/QhX0ssN0lH
— Ray Chambers (@RaymondChambers) March 28, 2020
Next up, we have a positive story about how Sony is handling the shift towards working from home during the pandemic. Specifically, PlayStation employees are getting full pay until April 30th and budgets for equipment they need.
This news also comes from a tweet by Patrick Klepek, who obtained a memo received by employees with the news:
According to a memo I've been briefed on, all NA/European PlayStation employees will continue working from home through at least April 30, due to coronavirus. Workers will continue to be paid, "regardless of ability to perform remote work due to job function or responsibilities."
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) March 27, 2020
Last, but not least, it seems like the PS5 launch won’t be delayed by the virus as of March 2020. Speaking to Bloomberg, a Sony representative said that it expects “no material impact” for its gaming and network services in the current fiscal year.
As we’ve said before, the new console may be in very short supply if it launches on time, due to factory shut downs. We’ll of course keep this page updated with any news. In the meantime, you can find out how else the Coronavirus has affected gaming below.
Sony Backs out of Two Major Events, Citing Coronavirus Concerns
Near the end of February 2020, Sony announced that they would not be attending two major gaming events in the coming weeks. It started with Sony revealing that they would not be at PAX East in Boston.
The company cited the ongoing virus concerns and the safety of their global workforce as reasons for pulling out of the event. Despite this, the evemt is moving forward with “enhanced cleaning and sanitation” in place across the venue.
A day later, GamesIndustry.biz reported that Sony would also be pulling out of the Game Developer Conference (GDC), another major event in the gaming industry.
The reasoning was the same, of course, but as a result of this, The Last of Us Part II won’t be playable at either event as originally planned. Neil Druckman, vice president of Naughty Dog and writer of the game, took to Twitter to share the news:
We’re so sad to have to miss PAX East! We were really looking forward to meeting you and seeing your reactions to the demo. Although we know this makes the wait until May 29 a bit harder, we appreciate your understanding. Don’t worry, we’ll have more to share closer to launch. https://t.co/tIJ0Z7Ztcs
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) February 19, 2020
Both PAX East and GDC are taking steps to ensure the venues are properly sanitized and in cooperation with current standards surrounding hygiene, but it also makes sense for Sony to be careful with their employees. Perhaps this means they will lean more into digital events like their State of Play streams.
In the meantime, stay tuned to this page for any and all updates regarding the Coronavirus’ effect on the world of gaming.
How the Coronavirus Affects PS5 Production
Above all else, this writer and the people who work on this website wish a quick resolution to this pandemic, be it a cure or vaccine. Nothing is more important than human life. That being said, there’s no getting around the fact that the PS5, along with the Xbox Series X, will likely be manufactured in China.
To put things in perspective, here is quote courtesy of Jefferies Group:
“The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years’ product generation change for the 2020 holiday season. If shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed. New consoles may likewise suffer supply issues from a prolonged disruption, ahead of their Fall 2020 planned launches.”
While the PS5 isn’t scheduled until the fall of 2020, now is the time that production would begin, to ensure they have stock in time. As factories are currently shut down until at least February 10th, it’s possible that Sony won’t hit their goals or inventory. All of this, of course, depends on when it’s safe for workers to return to their roles.
Even if the delay is minimal, Sony may drastically reduce the total amount of PS5 consoles for launch. If you recall the launch of the Nintendo Wii, people lined up days before it came out, and continued to do so when new shipments were rumored. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that a similar scenario could happen with the PS5.
Worst case scenario, Sony may have to push the launch into 2021, but I imagine they will launch in 2020 if at all possible, even if it means having scarce inventory. So, what does this mean for you?
If you want a PS5 at launch, I would strongly suggest preordering it. That being said, with the way GameStop is going, I would avoid doing it through them. Instead, try Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Sony itself or other major retailers. There’s no telling how long preorders will be live either. We do have a PS5 preorders email list through which we will keep you posted as soon as news breaks on where you can get it.
This will ensure you hear about preorders immediately when they go live. In the meantime, stay safe, keep the people of China in your thoughts, and be smart about where you travel. If you do need to travel, make sure you have hand sanitizer (doctors recommend 60% alcohol content), and wash your hands every chance you get.
Stay safe fellow gamers. The PS5 will get here when it’s ready, but first we need to make sure we take care of our fellow people. This is now a global issue and we are all in it together. If you’re looking to get one at launch, stay tuned for news about PS5 preorders. Let us know if you think this virus will affect the PS5 in the comments.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of Sony Interactive Entertainment or PlayStation.
Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 2/10/2020
Update date – 2/29/2020