Look, manufacturing takes time. For new console releases where the manufacturer is definitely going to sell millions upon millions of consoles upon launch (or within the few months after launch), even more so. That’s why we already have news of approximately how long it takes to take on such an endeavour.
Because of production rates and economies of scale, it is easy for those with insider information to predict how long it takes to manufacture those consoles.
We have reports from Digitimes that because of the over demand of the 7nm process node for both TSMC and GlobalFoundaries (the 2 major wafer and chip manufacturers in Asia), such a delay from notice to production is to be expected. Below is a snippet from their report:
“AMD’s 7nm CPU and GPU are expected to be adopted by Sony in its next-generation PlayStation and the processors are estimated to be ready in the third quarter of 2020 for the games console’s expected release in the second half of 2020, according to industry sources.
The sources from the IC back-end services sector noted that the processors’ packaging and testing will be handled by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL).
With GlobalFoundries abandoning the development of 7nm process, AMD has been outsourcing 7nm chip production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and the volumes are expected to make AMD one of the top clients of the Taiwan-based foundry.”
What is interesting to note is that earlier in the year, we had reports of the fact that Sony is in fact not going to be present in E3 this year. This may indicate that even Sony themselves are not confident that they will be able to deliver the expected quantities of the console by Q4 2020 for them to be able to announce it this year; your typical time and peak period of holidays where consumers buy big ticket items such as a console.
Since Sony’s consoles are, if the trend is to be continued, always being announced at an E3 conference, I do not expect Sony to have their “No E3” hiatus for long. Expect a return to the big stage next year as we will definitely have some info about the release date of Sony’s next-generation console once E3 2020 rolls around.
Of course, this is all speculation based on those who are higher within the supply chain. Although this is more likely to be true as both developers and Sony themselves would probably not have anything to show given the approximate time frame of the release; too early in both the development and (console) production cycle.
We will see if this remains to be true during Tokyo Games Show which Sony is a major party in. If Sony doesn’t announce any new titles during TGS, we would expect that to be the reason why Sony did not attend E3 this year. Seriously, who buys the story that Sony is “exploring other avenues to engage with the community”?