Microsoft announced on Wednesday that the Xbox One console is launching in thirteen markets on November 22, 2013, exactly one week before the Black Friday mob cleans up retail aisles like fish tank bottom feeders. The console will be made available in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA. Many more markets will follow in 2014.
"We are humbled and gratified by the tremendous interest in Xbox One from game fans everywhere. We have sold out of our pre-order supply in the U.S. faster than at any other time in our history and we are on path to have the biggest launch of an Xbox ever," says Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business, Xbox. "We look forward to celebrating with millions and millions of gamers this holiday."
Mehdi adds that thanks to popular demand, Microsoft is making available even more Xbox One Day One consoles to purchase esrly. The pre-purchase website can be found here, offering a link to Microsoft's own virtual storefront and a link to other participating retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys'R'Us and Walmart. The $499 pricetag includes the console, Kinect 2.0, chat headset, an exclusive achievement, and a controller, but expect many retailers to offer bundles that send that pricetag through the roof.
Microsoft's Graeme Boyd clarified on Monday that the Xbox One Day One edition bundled with FIFA 14 will only be offered in Europe. The game will be included in the package as a download code added to the paperwork instead of a bundled physical copy. "Had a few questions on this so wanted to clarify: FIFA 14 will only come free with Xbox One Day One Edition pre-orders, while stocks last," he said.
Sony's competing next-gen PlayStation 4 will arrive just a few days earlier on November 15 in North America and Canada, and then on November 29 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The console will sell for $399, undercutting Microsoft's gaming beast, but will not include the PlayStation Eye accessory. The Xbox One is a complete package for $100 more.
"November 22 is a special day in Xbox history – on this day, we first launched Xbox 360 in 2005," Mehdi added. "Our next chapter begins in 79 days, when Xbox One becomes available. We built Xbox One to bring you the best games, unrivaled multiplayer and more entertainment than ever before. It’s nearly time to say “Xbox On” and open a new world of games and entertainment."
Who will score the most revenue this holiday season? Microsoft or Sony? With all the previous controversy surrounding the Xbox One, privacy and used game policies, will many Xbox fans jump ship and head over to Team PlayStation. We'll find out on December 31.
Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.
I see the average consumer still hasn't learnt anything.
Its clear Microsoft won't be leading the next-gen market.
EDIT: Looks like I've hit some fanboys. I was thinking that Microsoft doing so many U-turns on their policies would have defined a clear leader for next-gen systems.
Come now, try and be honest - you can't see that some people have an interest in the Kinect and Microsoft's exclusives? Heck,you can't even say "I buy Playstation because I feel I shouldn't have to pay to play games online" any more.
Not lining up for either of these systems, but there are plenty of painfully obvious reasons to pick an XBOX One over a PS4, and vice-versa. I think the it's-cool-to-hate-Microsoft fad blinders are blocking an objective assessment of the situation.
And what does "leading the next gen market" have to do with enjoying a system? The PS3 was trailing for most of the last generation and it still had a great lineup of games and was fun to play. Do sales somehow affect your play experience?
Someone needs a good lesson in geography...
...and you never will, 77 million Xbox 360's say otherwise and paying Live Gold subscription hasn't bothered anyone before, so having it on the XB1 is no change apart from better games and features from the previous model, there is no reason to believe any of the previous 77 million won't upgrade over time and stay with Xbox