PS5's Release Shouldn't Be Affected By The Coronavirus Pandemic, Sony Says

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic isn't expected to affect the PS5's launch date, according to Sony.

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Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting its projected profits, Sony still expects the PS5 to launch this holiday season. Speaking with Bloomberg, a Sony spokesperson said there won't be, as Bloomberg puts it, a "notable impact on the launch" of PlayStation 5 later this year. Other facets of the company's business are expecting slashed profits. Compared to its financial forecast back in February, Sony's profits are likely to be about $370 million lower.

It's possible upcoming first-party PS4 games could be affected by the pandemic, as Sony's Chinese manufacturing centers were shut down for weeks as the outbreak was being managed. At this point, there are no announced delays, with The Last of Us Part 2 arriving in May and Ghost of Tsushima releasing in June.

"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.," Sony said in a statement.

However, many of Sony's employees are now working from home and a portion of its offices are closed.

"In accordance with mandates from national and local governments, Sony has closed a portion of its offices, mainly in Europe and the U.S., where employees are now working from home," Sony said in a statement. "Additionally, at Sony’s offices in Japan and other areas, employees must work from home, excluding a small number of essential employees."

Capcom could experience difficulties with physical games and collector's editions for Resident Evil 3 in Europe, warning the region could see delays past its April 3 launch date. Square Enix warned of something similar with Final Fantasy VII Remake, with Europe, Australia, and the Americas all potentially affected by the pandemic. The long-delayed game is a PS4 exclusive.

Digital versions shouldn't be affected, but PlayStation Network download speeds have been reduced in Europe and the United States in order to ensure internet reliability.

The PS5's launch window is more important for Sony than an individual game because it will be competing directly with Microsoft's Xbox Series X, which also has not announced any sort of release delay yet. Sony released the PS2 about a year before the original Xbox, and Microsoft flipped the script in part by launching Xbox 360 a year before PS3. Both the PS4 and Xbox One launched during the same period.

Sony recently revealed the PlayStation DualSense, a brand new controller for the PS5 that features a built-in mic, a rechargeable battery, a Create button, and a brand new form factor compared to the previous DualShock 4.

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