The launch of Xbox Series X is unlikely to be delayed by manufacturing limitations from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new interview with Microsoft's CEO.
Industry analysts have expressed fears that closures of manufacturing facilities in China would not allow enough next-gen consoles to be built in time for their planned launch of "Holiday 2020." One group even said there is a "strong likelihood" that Microsoft and/or Sony may need to push back their respective console launches due to lack of supply.
However, Nadella told CNBC that "on the supply side we are getting back on rails,” in response to a question about whether the company would be able to deliver on upcoming hardware launches such as Xbox Series X. Businesses in China have been steadily re-opening as the country may have overcome the worst of the pandemic. Though they'll have their own issues to sort out as they come back online - and it's in Nadella's interest to paint as positive a picture for his business as possible - the gap in service could end up having negligible impact on Xbox Series X production.
The pandemic has also affected Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. As more people stay home and use new online services in different areas, it puts a unique strain on online systems. Nadella says it has weathered the storm fine so far.
“If this was a previous generation of data center architectures or software architectures, I don’t think we would have been able to deal with this crisis as effectively as we have been able to,” Nadella said.
The most important concern in the midst of this pandemic will always be keeping as many people safe and healthy as possible. But if it's safe for the production facilities to start churning out Xbox Series X consoles in plenty of time for the holidays, it's a welcome sign that we still have normal, fun things to look forward to in our future.
Microsoft has also released a free new Minecraft Education pack to help keep kids learning even with schools closed.