Enlarge /. Thanks to the corona virus, you will no longer be able to hold this in your hands in the near future.
The planned launch of the TurboGrafx-16 Mini later this month has been "until further notice" delayed due to the spread of the corona virus, publisher Konami announced today.
The plug-and-play retro console, which was originally scheduled to be released on March 19 with dozens of games, has been pushed back because "the production and shipping facilities in China due to the recent outbreak of the corona virus (COVID-19 ) have encountered an unavoidable suspension … We sincerely apologize for the significant inconvenience and humbly ask for your understanding and patience as we pay attention to the situation. "
The delay follows warnings from other game hardware manufacturers that the availability of existing products could be affected by the spread of the virus. Nintendo announced last month that there will be bottlenecks in switch hardware and peripherals in the Japanese market due to disruptions in the Chinese supply chain (although the company relocated part of its hardware production to Vietnam last year). And Oculus, a company owned by Facebook, warned of further bottlenecks in the Quest VR headset, as the company sees "additional effects on our hardware production due to the corona virus".
However, the TurboGrafx-16 Mini is the first major gaming hardware, the first release of which is delayed by the effects of the virus. And the move underscores fears in some corners of the industry that Microsoft and Sony may be forced to delay their own planned console launches later this year.
"The video game sector is currently in the process of starting or starting a multi-year product generation shift for the 2020 holiday season," said Jefferies Group in an analyst report released last month (as reported by Business Insider). "If (corporate) shutdowns take longer than a month, the game plans will be delayed. New consoles can also suffer from supply problems due to a longer interruption before they are planned for autumn 2020."
Other industry observers have pointed to obvious problems in Apple's Chinese supply chain as evidence that console manufacturers will have problems producing enough new units for a larger launch later this year. But Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says such concerns are premature to say the least.
"(Apple) doesn't have a really realistic manufacturing alternative due to the complexity of the assembly (many components, very high specifications, relatively high costs)," Pachter told TechRadar last month. "In contrast, Xbox and PlayStation don't have to be made in China, but this is obviously the country with the lowest cost."
For the console launches from Microsoft and Sony to have serious problems, the effects of the corona virus on production facilities would have to last until June, Pachter said. Even then, the console manufacturers would likely have enough time to "calmly arrange production in Taiwan and Vietnam (at a maximum cost of $ 5 to $ 10 per unit) to be on the safe side," he said.
Microsoft announced last month that it will lower its expected third-quarter earnings forecasts (end of March 31) due to negative effects on the production of OEM hardware for surfaces and Windows. However, the company believes that the performance of other parts of its business, including the Xbox segment, will remain unchanged.