Let’s get straight to the point. This year’s anticipated console launch PlayStation 5 boasts of a global launch but the majority of the SEA countries (with an exception) do not have an update. That’s correct. Sony has not announced a launch date for countries including India, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam. The exception is Singapore where the preparations for a PS5 launch on November 19th are in full swing.
Although several sources confirm that SEA and other regions are categorized under “rest of the world” and the launch has to happen on November 19th, 2020, Sony has officially denied this. The console also ran into trouble during the pre-order date, when it had to apologize for the disorganized fiesta.
And this segregation is not just limited to continents. The launch on November 12th was cross-continents, facilitated for U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Mexico.
COVID-19 Got In The Way
The delay in the PlayStation 5’s launch has not been completely unprecedented. I mean let’s be honest here, COVID-19’s arrival this year has made us vulnerable to almost everything. Sony does get a valid excuse there in terms of production, distribution, and logistical challenges, but didn’t it see it coming?
We are in the eleventh month of the pandemic and it is quite unfathomable to comprehend that Sony did not prepare for exigencies. Or should I say it is no longer an exigency, in fact, we all know the process? When even our essentials and groceries are delivered hours after it’s technical scheduling, how can a company banking on the entertainment industry did not expect delays? Well, they did expect but denied the delays in their last earning calls.
From where I come, we are experiencing a second wave, a terrible one. In a small city of France, Bouches-du-Rhône, one out of 190 people had to be hospitalized, you see that’s what the scale of this pandemic has been, and it picturizes the state of global dislocation we are all in when it comes to a circular economy.
Sony’s Social Memo
Coming back to the distribution side of the new PlayStation, Sony today announced on their social platforms about a potential delay. They even went one step further saying there are no “launch dates for PS5 in India,” citing local import regulations and logistics as an area of the subject.
Posted by Sony PlayStation India on Friday, 13 November 2020
While this was an announcement for India in particular, several countries had their own share of delays, where some reports even suggest that the console will not be available until early 2021. I mean should we even associate it with 2020? The resounding success of PlayStation 4 globally did validate Sony’s profound grip on the console market. But the times have changed, the disparity between Xbox’s console sales numbers and PlayStation’s is expected to diminish. Whether or not Sony’s loyal fanbase would settle for an Xbox because of the delay, the upset community is vocal. On Sony’s social media announcement, hundreds of “enthusiasts” have shown their displeasure towards the discourse of the launch.
Despite the early launch in several countries, reports have continued to emerge that the inventory levels of the new console are alarming. Best Buy, an American electronics retailer in an unrelated event had pointed out the delay was caused due to “strict Sony regulations.”
Changes Made to Marketing Collateral
“Holidays 2020” was the ETA for PlayStation 5 globally. Now what “Holidays” mean for a global diversified population could be an area of augmented debate, it no longer appears on Sony’s select websites. According to this report by Mp1st Sony has apparently removed the arrival of PlayStation 5 expected date which earlier flashed “Holidays 2020.” So this could well be interpreted as Halloweens, ThanksGiving, or that the console will arrive late 2020 or the next year.
Considering the time we’re in right now, another month of delay doesn’t seem to be too much of an unexpected turn of events. And we are almost in the third week of November, a couple of weeks hiatus in launch seems to be pertinent at the moment.
Not just PlayStation 5, Coronavirus has affected a lot of digital properties and events this year. In the world of esports, competitive events had to turn down millions of fans to strategize government authorities in curbing down the spread of the pandemic. ESL, DreamHack, IEM, and other tournament organizers pulled the plug way back in April when the COVID-19 spread had just begun.
Gaming and technology conferences couldn’t dodge the bullets either and had their events either canceled or moved to online platforms which couldn’t gather the interactions.
The most anticipated game of recent times, CyberPunk 2077 has been in its own orbit of delays. Understandably, COVID-19 has been the wildcard for excuses for everyone with delays, but the impact the pandemic has had is undeniable too. The fact that publications have to literally announce to their readers, the availability of PlayStation’s stockpile on an hourly basis, is in itself concerning.
Despite all this uncovering, I still believe Sony could well be on the track to deliver your pre-ordered next-generation console before Christmas eve if it gets into a war-footing.
(Picture on the featured image of CyberPunk 2077 sourced from AlphaCoders.com)