As we all attempt to navigate a viral pandemic that has forced much of the world to shut down, it's important to not let the doom and gloom overwhelm you. Everyone has different ways of coping with disaster, and for many of us, gaming is a helpful escape, as evidenced by the record-breaking sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which launched for the Switch last week. So, while it may not be a top priority, the potential delays of the next-gen consoles have been a topic of conversation for months, but Microsoft tried to put those fears to rest this week.
Speaking with CNBC on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the hardware supply chain is revving back up now that the novel coronavirus outbreak has been contained in much of Asia. When asked if the company would be able to deliver the products it had planned to release by the end of the year before COVID-19 became such a pressing concern, Nadella said this: "On the supply side we are getting back on rails."
As it stands, supply won't be a problem when it comes to the launch of the Xbox Series X this fall, though the situation is fluid and no one can tell you exactly how this pandemic is going to develop. That said, there might be a question of demand, as both the US and Europe are still in the early stages of their own coronavirus outbreaks, with potentially months to go before two of the most important markets for Xbox can stabilize.
The good news is that the Xbox Series X is still set to arrive right on time this holiday season, barring any unforeseen developments. And while Microsoft as a whole has been affected by the pandemic just like every other company on the planet, Nadella says that the business is holding up in spite of all the chaos.
“We have a great balance sheet, we are a very diverse business, we have a mix of annuity, non-annuity, that is also stronger than even the last time we even went into the financial crisis,” Nadella told CNBC. “I feel confident we’ll come out of this, frankly, pretty strong.” And as for how the United States government is handling the coronavirus pandemic, Nadella says that he believes it is "doing the right thing, which is, they’re focused on the employees who are most impacted and the industries that are most impacted, and small businesses.”