A variety of reports came out over the weekend suggesting how Sony and Microsoft have been adapting their next-gen reveal plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To start, Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad reports that that the cancellation of June’s E3 2020 gaming trade show in response to the virus has resulted in “a lot of the planned reveals/announcements” having been moved out of the week of the show.
With E3 cancelled, a lot of the planned reveals / announcements have been moved out of that single week.
Some are now much earlier, others much later. Some still during E3 week ofc.
The first proper next gen console/games showcase is much earlier too.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 19, 2020
This means that some reveals are set for “much earlier,” while others will now happen “much later,” says Ahmad. “The first proper next-gen console/games showcase is much earlier too,” he added.
That said, he noted that some announcements will still be made during the week of E3, which was slated for June 9th to 11th prior to its cancellation.
Some, if not all, of this E3-adjacent programming will come in the form of IGN’s ‘Summer of Gaming’ event. The games media giant is partnering with publishers like Square Enix, Google Stadia, Sega and Bandai Namco to reveal exclusive news, previews, interviews and more.
Ahmad is a credible source, having accurately reported on such stories as the PlayStation State of Play presentation last September and Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s demo dropping on March 2nd.
Nonetheless, Ahmad stresses that the “unprecedented situation” surrounding COVID-19 — as well as other external factors — could “change plans at the last minute.”
In response to Ahmad’s tweet, Video Games Chronicle released its own report stating that one person with knowledge of Sony’s plans noted that the company was aiming to hold its “significant PS5 reveal” sometime in May. However, like Ahmad, the outlet similarly pointed out how Sony’s plans may be up in the air, citing the company’s recent decision to indefinitely delay The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR due to COVID-19.
VGC says it’s also been told that Microsoft will have some reveals in May, in addition to the digital showcase it has already confirmed it will hold in lieu of its traditional E3 keynote.
Finally, Eurogamer news editor Tom Phillips quote tweeted Ahmad’s original statement and said next-gen announcements will be more spaced this year. Therefore, gamers should expect reveals to take place during May, June, July and beyond, he said.
Without a firm deadline to hit for E3 builds and with teams having lost time moving to remote working, expect announcements to be more spaced out this year. We're going to get what were E3 reveals in May, June, July… https://t.co/RTnWHlfYiN
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) April 19, 2020
So far, little is known about the PS5 and Xbox Series X besides their respective specs, which were revealed during the same week of March. Beyond that, Microsoft has also shown off the look of Xbox Series X and confirmed that Halo Infinite will be a launch title, with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 also in the works.
Sony, meanwhile, recently unveiled its brand-new PS5 controller, the DualSense. However, the design of the console itself, as well as first-party games (launch titles or otherwise), are still unknown.
A specific launch date beyond a ‘holiday 2020’ window and pricing have not yet been revealed for either console.
In any case, both Sony and Microsoft maintain that the plan is to launch their next-gen consoles this year, despite disruptions associated with COVID-19.