2020 is poised to be an awesome year for PlayStation fans with the release of The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, and the PlayStation 5, but could all of that change in the coming months because of the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world?
Plenty of gamers out there are probably worried, and rightfully so, about how the coronavirus might cause significant delays for Sony's next-gen console or upcoming video game releases as they all enter the final stages of production. After weeks of silence, Sony has finally commented on the current state of production, and whether or not the current pandemic will shape production for the rest of the year.
Are The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima delayed?
The two major spring PS4 exclusives that fans may be worrying about these days are Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part 2, which was given a release date of May 29 back during October 2019, and Ghost of Tsushima, which was confirmed earlier this month for launch on June 25. As the developers are in the final stage of polishing these games while transitioning to work-from-home setups, a delay has seemed likely. So far, however, Sony claims that won't be the case.
"Sony estimates that there will be no material impact on this business for the current fiscal year," Sony Global claimed of its game and network services in a press release Friday grappling with how the coronavirus has impacted the company. "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."
The short and definitive answer here — so far — is that neither The Last of Us Part II nor Ghost of Tsushima is delayed. At this time, Sony doesn't believe these or any other video games will be delayed. The biggest way coronavirus will be impacted PS4 players right now is a reduction in download speeds to reduce pressure is put on internet servers.
Is PS5 Delayed?
With a holiday 2020 release window, Sony has to begin production on the PS5 soon if the company is to have enough consoles available for launch. As such, fans are worried that coronavirus-related factory shutdowns might stall production for the console, causing its release to be pushed into early 2021. Just like the aforementioned games, Sony does not believe the PS5 will be delayed at this time.
Speaking to Bloomberg, a spokeswoman for Sony stated that "it doesn’t see any notable impact on the launch of its next-generation game console PlayStation 5 planned at the end of this year." Likewise, GameStop CEO George Sherman echoed this in a statement on Friday.
"As for the impact on the new supply chain and manufacturing for the new consoles," Sherman said, "we will continue to work with the console makers as the launch approaches, but as of now, we have no indication of any impact on the product launch or delivery date, which is expected in time for holiday 2020."
The Inverse Analysis
Sony's spring 2020 titles are some of the biggest games of the entire year, so it's good to hear that the games are still on track. Things could still change depending on how the coronavirus pandemic evolves in the coming weeks and months. Because it has a later release date, Ghost of Tsushima is far more likely to face delays than The Last of Us Part II. For the same reason, it's still a bit early to tell how the launch of the PS5 might be impacted.
We won't truly know if the system is on track until we get an actual release date. Of course, the safety of the developers should be Sony's top priority, so if delaying any games or consoles for the health and wellbeing of the people making them, then it's for the best.