Coronavirus' global economic disruption could interrupt Sony's PlayStation plans for 2020 (and beyond), including delaying first-party games as well as its next-gen PlayStation 5 console.
The PlayStation 5 is still officially due out Holiday 2020, but it's still possible the console could be delayed for a number of reasons. Sony's latest update to shareholders doesn't exactly inspire confidence of a PS5 launch in 2020.
In the press release, Sony says that its four Chinese manufacturing plants have been up and running since February 10, but supply chain issues still remain. It also warns that Sony engineers haven't been able to make overseas travel to overseas plants to instruct the manufacturing processes. The company has also shut down two of its Malaysian plants until April 14, further constricting and disrupting supply. There's no explicit mention of the PS5 here, but it's definitely implied. A Sony spokesperson told Bloomberg that the PS5 shouldn't be delayed.
However, the PlayStation 5 uses specialized and highly-customized tech like a unique SSD, the 7nm SoC designed by AMD, and the robust cooling solution that's been a costly thorn in Sony's side.
The company is careful to say coronavirus won't impact earnings for this fiscal year. That's a bit strange considering the current fiscal year ends on March 31, 2020, just four days after the report was issued. Disruptions in manufacturing could make these parts harder to make in mass quantities.
Sony acknowledges that first-party games development could likewise be affected and force delays from studios in the United States, such as Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II. Game devs are working at home but games development is a highly communicative endeavor and not having direct human-to-human access could inhibit, stall, or at the very least, slow a game's progress.
As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths skyrocket in the United States and around the world, global businesses are forced to adapt to the new stay-at-home work reality. Sony's gaming division is uniquely weathered for this storm and is likely seeing a surge in digital purchases, subscription sales, and overall playtime. But that constant cashflow won't re-open closed facilities and money can't actually code and develop games.
Below are some quotes from the press release issued March 27, 2020:
Sony estimates that there will be no material impact on this business for the current fiscal year.
Although no issues have emerged so far, Sony is carefully monitoring the risk of delays in production schedules for game software titles at both its first-party studios and partner studios, primarily in Europe and the U.S.
Business has been impacted by factors such as restrictions on movement of people across national borders, making it difficult for Sony to send engineers to manufacturing hubs such as China and countries in Southeast Asia for the purpose of helping with new product launches or giving instructions on manufacturing.
Sony has four manufacturing plants located in China (two in Shanghai, one in Wuxi, Jiangsu, and one in Huizhou, Guangdong). All of these plants were shut down in accordance with government mandates, from the beginning of the spring holidays on January 24, 2020, until February 9. From February 10, all four plants have re-started operations in increments. Supply chain issues remain, but operations are returning to the level they were before the spread of the virus.
The PS5 will release in Holiday 2020, and it may cost $499.
Check below for more info on everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far:
PlayStation 5 specs and details:
- Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU
- 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz
- Navi 2X GPU with 36 CUs on RDNA 2 at 2.23GHz
- Ultra-fast 825GB SSD with up to 9GB/sec speeds
- Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
- Ray-tracing enabled
- 8K output support (for gaming)
- Plays PS4 games, BC is on a title-to-title basis
- Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
- New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
PlayStation 5 Coverage:
- Sony's PS5 talk wasn't enough--for next-gen, seeing is believing
- Only PlayStation 5 next-gen exclusives will tap SSD's full potential
- PlayStation 5 may play thousands of PS4 games at launch
- PS5's boost mode is so powerful that some PS4 games can't handle it
- PS5 won't play PS1, PS2 or PS3 discs, 100 PS4 games supported at launch
- Understanding the PS5's SSD: A deep dive into next-gen storage tech
- PlayStation 5 won't use memory cards, supports third-party SSDs
- PlayStation 5 specs: 10TFLOPs Navi RDNA 2 2.23GHz GPU, 3.5GH Zen 2 CPU
- PlayStation 5 SSD speeds hit 9GB/sec with custom 12-channel controller
- PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X ray tracing is easily scalable for devs
- Report: PlayStation 5 Pro and base PlayStation 5 coming in 2020
- 60FPS on next-gen PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X 'is much easier'
- PlayStation 5 specs confirmed by Sony: 10TFLOPs Navi RDNA 2 2.23GHz GPU, 3.5GH Zen 2 CPU
- PlayStation 5 could use Samsung's 980 QVO SSDs
- PlayStation 5 is beating Xbox Series X in dev kit form right now
- Hardly any devs are making next-gen PS5, Xbox Series X games
- Sony working on new horror IP for PlayStation 5
- PlayStation 5 devkit UI possibly leaked
- Leaked PlayStation 5 concepts show weird X-shaped case
- Sony's first-party PS4 exclusives are coming to PC
- PlayStation 5's new DualShock 5 may be usable on PS4
- Sony skips E3 2020, has two major events planned for February
- Next-gen console exclusives will be few and far between through 2021
- PlayStation 5's biggest features have yet to be announced, Sony says
- PS4 has sold over 1 billion games and 106 million consoles
- PlayStation 5 backward compatibility should support every PS4 game
- Sony reveals the PlayStation 5...logo
- New trapezoidal PS5 render is an expensive accident waiting to happen
- A $399 PlayStation 5 will conquer next-gen
- PlayStation 5 to outsell Xbox Series X in 2020, analyst predicts
- PS5 may only enhance PS4 games, legacy PS1, PS2 and PS3 games unlikely
- PlayStation 5 prototype dev kit console gets V-shaped clean
- Sony: The future is coming at CES 2020
- PlayStation 5 GPU: 9.2 TFLOPs with 36 custom Navi compute units
- PlayStation 5 GPU emulates PS4, PS4 Pro with special modes
- PS5, Xbox Series X SSD may use software-defined flash to boost speeds
- PS5's SSD is 'exceptionally powerful,' may beat Xbox Series X speeds
- DualShock 5 renders show new trigger design, USB-C, ergonomic shell
- PlayStation 5 to support 8K gaming, Sony confirms
- New PlayStation 5 renders show off radical different design, again
- Leaked PlayStation 5 ad prices console at $1,000, is totally fake
- Sony seeks a new Head of Strategy for Worldwide Studios
- Leaked PlayStation 5 devkit photos show new DualShock controller
- PS5, Xbox Scarlett SSD may use Optane-like ReRAM to supercharge speeds
- NVIDIA G-Sync monitors to improve PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett
- PlayStation 5: Everything We Know So Far
- PlayStation 5 confirmed to have 8C/16T Zen 2 CPU from AMD
- PS5, Project Scarlett may use Samsung's 6th gen V-NAND NVMe SSDs
- PS5 backward compatibility confirmed, will play PS4 games
- Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 has 4K 120Hz output support
- PS5, Project Scarlett to hit over 10TFLOPs of power, sources say
- PS4 will be supported into 2022, to live alongside PS5
- Sony: ultra-high-speed SSD is 'the key' to next-gen PS5
- PS5 dev kit rumor: 'ultra-fast RAM', Navi GPU with 13 TFLOPs
- PlayStation 5 rumored to ship with 2TB of super-fast SSD for $499
- Insider: PlayStation 5 dev kit faster than Xbox Scarlett right now
- PS5 cartridges aren't real, patents are for Sony kids toys
- PS5's SSD may benefit PS4 games the most
- PS5 powered by Navi in 2020, AMD making Navi with Sony input
- Cloud-powered PlayStation controller may let you play free game demos
- Gran Turismo 7 is a PlayStation 5 launch title: launches Nov 20, 2020
- PS5 confirmed to support 8K video, ray tracing, all on Navi
- PlayStation 5 rumored to cost $499, launches November 20, 2020
- PlayStation game demos are coming back with Sony's ambitious new plan
- PS5 controller: Built-in mic, USB-C, no lightbar, ergonomic design
- PlayStation 5 concept video shows totally new design
- Sony solves PS5's biggest issue
- Sony: PS5 development going according to plan
- New Viking Assassin's Creed may be next-gen console launch game
- AMD working on 'secret sauce' for next-gen Xbox/PlayStation
- The first real photo of a PlayStation 5 dev kit appears
- Next-gen PS5/Xbox Scarlett open-world game: 'best real-time graphics'
- Sony restructures workforce to prepare for PS5
- PlayStation VR 2: built-in cameras, wireless, ready for PS5
- PS5 games will ship on 100GB Blu-ray BDXL discs
- PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will both handle ray tracing differently
- PlayStation 5 could feature AI-powered 'PlayStation Assist'
- Sony won't abandon singleplayer story-driven games on PS5
- PS5 rumor: GPU is nearly as powerful as RTX 2080, GPU clocked at 2GHz
- PlayStation 5 rumored to be unveiled on February 12, 2020
- Sony to raise PS5 cost thanks to U.S. tariffs