The Outer Worlds version on the Nintendo Switch is the first game whose release date has been delayed due to coronavirus. This is just the beginning of this type of problem. I am convinced that the epidemic will cast a shadow on the entire technology industry.
Although the extremely successful The Outer Worlds is the work of the American studio Obsidian, the port for the portable Nintendo Switch is created in distant China by Virtuos. The Virtuos company is a veteran of outsourcing projects that has laid hands on creating such titles as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, refreshed Age of Empires II or Uncharted 4.
Virtuos employs 1,600 people in 11 offices. Three of them are in China.
Due to the 2019-nCoV virus outbreak, at least one Virtuos studio has been temporarily closed. The decision has a direct impact on the publishing process of The Outer Worlds for Nintendo Switch. Initially, the port was expected to debut on March 6, 2020. A new release date has not yet been set. They probably don’t know in Virtuos when they will be able to get back to work safely.
The situation is problematic in that any delays can be a matter of days, weeks or months. It is not known how long a state of emergency will last in some China. We do not know how long more companies and enterprises will be temporarily closing down to stop the spread of the virus. He has already killed almost 650 people in China. This is several times more than the SARS explosion of a few years ago hidden by the People’s Republic of China.
The Outer Worlds is not the only technological victim of the coronavirus.
Due to the threat of an epidemic, the large Taipei Game Show was canceled. Coronavirus is the reason why some of the big technology companies are withdrawing from the WMC tags in Barcelona. The trade fair itself is slowly becoming a question mark.
Nintendo has admitted that due to the 2019-nCoV virus, fewer new Nintendo Switch consoles will appear on the Japanese market than they should. A few days ago, the Asian company apologized for not being able to meet the demand in the Country of Cherry Blossoms. Fortunately, Switch deliveries to the US and Europe seem secured. At least for now. The price of televisions and monitors is uncertain, however, as the display process in Chinese factories has also been partially paralyzed.
Both consoles are expected to debut this Christmas season. Given this deadline, PS5 and XSX should hit the conveyor belt of Chinese factories in just 4-5 months. If not before. Sony and Microsoft must start production well in advance if they want to launch the platforms simultaneously in all major domestic markets.
The problem is that coronavirus has a significant impact on the performance of Chinese factories. In contrast, competing conveyors in Vietnam or Malaysia are not able to carry out such large orders as those in the People’s Republic of China. Hence the serious risk of threat to the production process. Not only new consoles, but also smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs and everything that is created in large Chinese factories.
2019-nCoV can have a negative impact on the availability of products, but also on their prices. Smaller supply opportunities, with significant demand from wealthy Western markets, clearly lead to price increases. And yet PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were not to be shockingly cheap consoles anyway, due to the use of high-quality SSD, most likely with a capacity of 1TB.