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August 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Xbox One launch to be delayed in eight countries
When Microsoft announced the Xbox One at the E3 gaming conference in June, it said it would be launching in 21 countries.
Now, the company has cut that number to 13.
In addition to the U.S., the countries where the Xbox One will be available at launch in November are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
Not getting the Xbox One until next year are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Microsoft, in an official blog post, explained the cut in the number of countries at launch by saying its initial plan to launch in 21 countries was “an aggressive goal and the team has been working very hard to deliver Xbox One to as many markets as possible. Our priority is ensuring our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. To do that, and in order to meet demand, we have adjusted the number of markets that will receive Xbox One in November.”
For customers who have already pre-ordered the console in the countries where the Xbox One launch is delayed, Microsoft is offering to include a bundled game when the console is available in those countries.
Microsoft has revised a number of its initially announced plans for the Xbox One.
Earlier this month, Marc Whitten, chief Xbox One platform architect, told IGN that the company will not require the Kinect motion- and voice-sensor to be always on and connected in order for the Xbox One to function.
Although the console will still be sold bundled with a Kinect, the sensor will no longer be absolutely necessary in order to run the Xbox One. “Like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” Whitten said in the IGN interview.
In June, the company did a 180 on its initial requirement that the Xbox One be regularly connected to the Internet. Microsoft also said it would allow gamers to continue to be able to use, trade, sell or loan their games just as they have been on earlier versions — another reversal of its initial plans.