KEY POINTS

  • Sony says its upcoming PlayStation 5 console is set to release by holiday 2020 despite "challenges" presented by the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The manufacturer has indicated that "major problems have not arisen" in terms of software development at this time. 
  • This is Sony's first major console launch in seven years following the PlayStation 4. 

Sony confirmed its upcoming PlayStation 5 system is still set for release by holiday 2020, despite the various challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic. This puts the flagship PlayStation 5 console on track to release later this year, seven years after the PlayStation 4 first made the scene. 

The company announced Wednesday, according to Bloomberg, that "at this point in time major problems have not arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony’s own first-party studios or its partners’ studios." 

The PlayStation 5's production reportedly hasn't been negatively affected, despite pivots to employees working from home as well as the issues that have arisen when it comes to the rigorous testing process the system must go through before it's released to the public.

"Regarding the launch of PlayStation 5, although factors such as employees working from home and restrictions on international travel have presented some challenges in regards to part of the testing process and the qualification of production lines, development is progressing with the launch of the console scheduled for the 2020 holiday season," said Sony. 

When the PlayStation 5 does hit store shelves, it's expected to revitalize currently sluggish sales, which fell sharply following the company's financial results released for its fiscal fourth-quarter ending March 31. At that time, Sony reported a 57 percent drop in operating profit to $320.7 million (35.4 billion Japanese yen). 

Sony noted that this drop could be chalked up to an overall loss of income from its gaming and consumer electronics division in relation to the novel coronavirus pandemic –though many people have begun staying at home more often and gaming, thus purchasing additional gaming equipment. 

An important injection for the business has been Sony's PS Plus initiative, which the company picked up an additional 2.7 million subscribers during its March quarter compared to December. With $60 per person per year, it adds a sizable amount of cash. However, Sony is still reticent about offering any projections for the current fiscal year, stating that "uncertainties caused by the spread of COVID-19 have hindered Sony’s ability to reasonably forecast its future earnings."

Sony has offered very few details about its upcoming PlayStation 5 console beyond a newly-designed "DualSense" controller set for release alongside the system. The company is expected to show off the console's design in the coming months as well as pricing and feature information. 

Sony's new PlayStation 5 console make players feel closer to the action of games, the company said PlayStation logo. Photo: AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU