A great deal has been discussed about the internal hardware of the next-generation Xbox, but a price point has yet to be announced. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact it might have on the launch of the next generation, it sounds like Xbox is taking things day by day.
Speaking on IGN's next-gen podcast, Xbox boss Phil Spencer discussed some of the factors that could play into the Xbox Series X. And while he discusses value, hardware, and performance, he says he'd also be remiss to not talk about the "economic realities" that potential console buyers could be facing in the holiday season.
"I think there's a lot of uncertainty," says Spencer, specifically citing reports of increased unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "I think gaming is a luxury, and we should all just understand that."
Spencer references 2008, the year of the subprime mortgage crisis, as a time when gaming was durable. Though gaming can be seen as a value, people also have to take care of families and allocate for basic needs. Spencer says it's a "day-by-day exercise" for Xbox right now, watching what's going on, and that Xbox is trying to "stay agile" with what it's planning.
Shortages due to the COVID-19 outbreak have already been affecting gaming, from game delays to growing hardware concerns. Just yesterday, the May launch of The Last of Us Part 2 was delayed indefinitely, citing logistical issues, and it's likely just the beginning.
Spencer says the Series X launch likely wouldn't move on another podcast with IGN, even if big games like Halo Infinite were delayed. But even if a launch window isn't affected, concerns over the economic climate when Xbox Series X rolls around are certainly still a factor. It's just something we'll have to take day-by-day.