“As for the impact on the new supply chain and manufacturing for the new consoles,” Sherman explained, “we will continue to work with the console makers as the launch approaches, but as of now, we have no indication of any impact on the product launch or delivery date, which is expected in time for holiday 2020.”
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In fact, Sherman says the impact of the virus on its stock in general has been relatively low: “In the near term, we continue to monitor inventory levels for specific categories that might be impacted by shipping or delivery delays, but as of now, any impact has been minimal.”
It’s not clear exactly how much insider information that Sherman is working with here, but it’s likely the CEO is in close contact with the console manufacturers. Before previous console launches, GameStop executives have explained that they “know more than we can share“, and were privy to unannounced information such as the Nintendo Switch (then codenamed NX) using physical media, despite widespread rumours that it would be digital-only.
It must also be pointed out that it’s beneficial for Sherman and GameStop to reassure investors that next-gen consoles – likely to be among their best-selling items this year – will arrive on schedule.
Sherman’s statement tallies somewhat with a Sony-retained PR agency, which explained that PS5 had not yet been delayed. However, with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak changing daily, these kinds of statements can’t be taken as guarantees that no delays will be implemented.
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It’s been a troubling few weeks for GameStop, but despite closing European stores and converting US stores into curbside pickup-only locations, Sherman says there has been, “an increase in store and online traffic over the past few weeks.”
While that’s good news in the short term, Sherman also announced that it would permanently close 300 more GameStop outlets in the next fiscal year.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News, and he finds it wild looking back at old NX pieces he wrote. Follow him on Twitter.