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It is a year that will go down in history for things being delayed, postponed, restricted or cancelled. But one sector that is managing to continue almost as normal is the world of gaming. People in practically every country across the globe have been spending more time than usual at home, and the rise in gaming popularity that has been evident over recent years has spiked through the roof in 2020. 

It’s not just a case of everyday people having more time on their hands. The world of professional sport has seen practically every tournament in every sport put on hold. Sports stars have been rushing to their consoles and engaging in high-profile virtual tournaments to entertain themselves, give fans something to watch and, in many cases, raise some money for charity. 

Sony and Microsoft ready for the next round

Against this backdrop it becomes evident that both Sony and Microsoft will be eager to cash in on gaming’s cachet at the present moment. International stars like Jordan Pickford and Max Verstappen playing on their consoles is a gift from the marketing Gods. The last thing the tech giants will want to do is delay getting their new consoles to market. 

Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X are both scheduled to hit the shelves in time for the holiday season. Both companies have issued guarded but confident statements that they do not anticipate any delays. The Battle of the Consoles has been raging since the first Xbox came out almost 20 years ago, but expect things to hot up considerably later this year.

Both new consoles are more than just cosmetic updates on the previous models. They can genuinely claim the tag “next generation” with their incredible specifications that include solid state drives, 8K graphics, 3D audio and more. While so many businesses are struggling for survival, it appears that these two are anticipating a bumper end to a highly profitable 2020.

Some games delayed

The surge in gaming activity has spread beyond consoles this year, with PC and mobile gaming also seeing a significant uptick. Major slot game developers have been rushing to get their new games to market on time, with NetEnt’s new football-themed game Super Striker and Quickspin’s Nero Fortune two of the big titles scheduled for April.

However, with working patterns disrupted among developers and testers, hitting release date deadlines is proving increasingly challenging. For PlayStation and Xbox gamers, shiny new consoles are great. But the gaming public will also want some shiny new games to play on them. Here, there are some clouds on the horizon.

Cyberpunk 2077, God of War 2 and Grand Theft Auto 6 are three of the most mouth-watering propositions that are rumored to be in the pipeline for release with the PS5. Meanwhile, the gaming press was recently buzzing with the news that Microsoft is to reboot the Silent Hill franchise for the Series X. 

However, what is less clear is at what stage these games currently stand. Rockstar Games is notoriously cloak-and-dagger with its new game development, so GTA 6 could easily be at an advanced point. However, with Silent Hill, the deal with Konami has yet to even be finalized. Ultimately, the outcome of this year’s battle of the consoles could be won or lost according to who can get their games to market the soonest.