Sorry Folks: Xbox Series X Is Not Releasing on "Thanksgiving 2020"

Sorry Folks: Xbox Series X Is Not Releasing on "Thanksgiving 2020"

Will we be thankful for all the teraflops on this Thanksgiving? Maybe, maybe not.

Earlier this week we got a detailed look at all the Xbox Series X's technical specifications, and just mere hours after Sony gave a more restrained primer on the PlayStation 5's capabilities, Microsoft seemed to have let out an important Series X detail: release timing. While Microsoft says the Series X's release window is unchanged, a Microsoft website briefly listed "Thanksgiving 2020" as when we can expect the Series X to arrive. Oops.

First, the context: the phrasing "Coming Thanksgiving 2020" appeared on the English language version of an official Microsoft page for the Series X, made for India. Other regions' versions of the same page still listed the less specific Holiday 2020 release window for the new console, and some said "end of 2020." The India-region page has since been edited to read "Coming holiday 2020."

A Microsoft spokesperson tells USgamer the following:

An Xbox product page in some regions inaccurately listed the launch date for Xbox Series X as Thanksgiving 2020. We are committed to launching Holiday 2020.

Even Geoff Keighley, creator of The Game Awards (where the Series X was unveiled last year), initially seemed unsure of what to make of the Thanksgiving information. It's safe to assume the page meant the American version of Thanksgiving, which would put the Series X's launch on or near November 26, 2020. Or, as Keighley joked before the page edit, it could be launched in October if we're talking Canadian Thanksgiving.

Vague, and apparently inaccurate. | Mathew Olson/USG, Microsoft

Not only is this a slip-up—perhaps Microsoft intended to narrow down the release window at a later date—but it's still worth taking "Holiday 2020" with a grain of salt considering the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic's huge impact on overseas manufacturing. Back in early February, before the global spread of the virus became evident, Business Insider reported on how both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 could see release delays due to widespread factory shutdowns and other restrictions.

It's also worth remembering that Microsoft has recently committed to an investigation of its Chinese supply chain after an Australian think tank released a report alleging that Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and several other tech giants are being supported by forced labor. The report claims that more than 80,000 Uighur Muslims are being made to work in factories across China.

At any rate, if American Thanksgiving does turn out to be Series X's narrowed release window, there's good reason to believe it won't literally come out on November 26. Not only is it a national US holiday where many retailers will be closed, but it's also the day before Black Friday, a shopping frenzy in its own right. The current pandemic could—or perhaps should—result in serious changes made to how people shop at retail on Black Friday, and having a new console come out on or close to the same day seems ill-advised.

Whenever the Series X does come out, it's slated to launch alongside Halo Infinite. On Monday, we learned a lot about the console's storage functionality, new controller, and how games might stack up against their high-end PC versions when running on a Series X.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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