The ongoing coronavirus outbreak could see next-gen console launches constrained or even delayed, a leading investment bank has claimed.
China’s manufacturing sector, which produces the vast majority of the world’s consumer electronics, has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with manufacturing giant Foxconn said to be quarantining workers, according to Business Insider by Pulse.
The Chinese government has also locked down cities, imposed a travel ban and extended the Lunar New Year holiday in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading.
As of midnight Wednesday, China’s national health commission said there were 28,018 confirmed coronavirus cases throughout the country, with 24,702 more suspected. The number of deaths from the coronavirus has now reached 563.
Nearly all video game hardware is produced in China, while it’s estimated that as much as half of art creation in Western games is also outsourced to the country.
The situation has already seen Nintendo delay Switch hardware shipments to Japan and Korea and delayed the release of Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds for the same platform.
“The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years’ product generation change for the 2020 holiday season,” the group said.
“If [company] 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.”
One chain executive told Nikkei Asian Review that the ongoing quarantine in China could also delay the production schedule of the next iPhone.