Local experts talk about the PS5, Xbox Series X and COVID-19’s impact on the video game industry


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Video games have been around for decades, but the industry has seen a boom in both interest and sales during the pandemic.

Local gaming store Palmetto Gaming has seen an increase in the amount of people coming to their store and buying their products.

“Whenever we opened, we had a really hard time keeping product in stock. We were out of systems as soon as we stocked them,”said Holly Holder, Manager at Palmetto Gaming.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Palmetto Gaming had to close but decided to make a website to allow customers to buy games online only, which also increased their number of sales with people from other states ordering products that could be shipped to their home.

This impact could also be seen by game developers like Ethan Levy, Executive Producer for N3TWORK INC., who said more people have been putting in more time to playing their “Tetris” mobile game.

However, it’s not also positive as the bigger video game companies have had to delay the release of their biggest games because of how difficult it is to work as a large crew while also being socially distant.

“If you have a team of 300 to 1,000 people working on Christmas’ biggest game…COVID has made this year really difficult and some teams have been able to adapt and some teams have missed probably the most important sales window of the year.”

Ethan Levy, N3TWORK INC.

Levy said he predicts a company could potentially lose “tens of millions of dollars” because of a delayed release.

One release that has not been delayed is the launch of the next generation of gaming systems, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.

However, many shoppers were left disappointed as both consoles sold out at multiple stores in just a matter of minutes.

Levy believes the virus has left the supply way farther behind the demand than usual.

“I still think in a perfect world [PlayStation 5] would probably be selling out but they’d…sell a lot more consoles than they are and I think that comes down to production issues,” he said.

Whether you’re a longtime gamer or starting to play for the first time, experts agree that playing them can help you clear your mind and connect with friends from a distance.

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