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Microsoft Xbox Head Says New Game Console Is Still on Schedule

By Donna Fuscaldo - Apr 30, 2020 at 5:15PM

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The Xbox isn't facing any COVID-19 delays, but Microsoft is worried games for the new console may be held up.

Microsoft's (MSFT -1.05%) upcoming Xbox game console won't be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, although new titles for it may be. 

That's according to Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox. In an interview with CNBC Thursday, the executive said Microsoft's Xbox development is "in line" with where it should be. However, it is unclear whether game production is being impacted by the pandemic due to social distancing and shelter at home orders. Developing games requires hundreds of people working together, said Spencer.

A young man in his room playing a video game wearing headphones.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Earlier in April, Sony said it was delaying the launch of "The Last of Us 2" because of issues with logistics. The sequel to its popular game is one of the most anticipated titles of 2020. 

Concerns had been mounting that Microsoft would be forced to delay the launch of its latest Xbox, which is slated to be ready for the holiday selling season.

Microsoft is seeing a surge in demand for its gaming services during the pandemic, with Xbox Live subscriptions surging. "People everywhere are turning to gaming to sustain human connection while practicing social distancing. And we continue to deliver new exclusive, first and third-party content to attract and retain gamers," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on a conference call to discuss third-quarter results. 

Spencer acknowledged in the CNBC interview the demand for Microsoft's gaming subscriptions could slow down as the economy begins to open back up and people are freer to roam but noted there was a lot of demand prior to the pandemic.

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