The Trump administration has proposed $300 billion in tariffs as part of its trade war with China, which includes a 25 percent tariff on video game consoles. Already companies in the video game industry have spoken out individually against these tariffs, but now Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have come together to release a joint statement on the matter.
In the statement, sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the companies argue that the proposed tariffs would have "enormous impact" and cause "undue economic harm" on the video game industry. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony state that the tariffs would have a negative effect on consumers as well as video game developers, retailers, and console manufacturers, put thousands of jobs at risk, and "stifle innovation" in the video game industry.
"While we appreciate the Administration's efforts to protect U.S. intellectual property and preserve U.S. high-tech leadership, the disproportionate harm caused by these tariffs to U.S. consumers and businesses will undermine--not advance--these goals," Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony said in the letter. They then went on to request that video game consoles not be included in the tariffs, assuming that they ever take effect.
One possible side effect of the Trump tariffs would be an increase in video game console prices. This is especially true for next-generation consoles, with concern already expressed that the price of the PS5 and Project Scarlett could be impacted by the tariffs. If the consoles cost too much for most consumers to adopt, then it could result in a slow start for the next-generation of gaming.
Another possibility is that video game console manufacturers will end up moving production out of China completely. In fact, a report by The Wall Street Journal indicated that Nintendo was already moving production out of China for its Switch models.
The Trump tariffs will have to be implemented before the video game industry will experience any of the side effects, however. At the time of this writing, China and the United States are still in talks about the situation, and it's possible that the tariffs will never be put in place at all if some kind of agreement can be reached.