Microsoft cuts Xbox One launch to 13 countries
But Irish users remain on track to get next generation console in November
Microsoft first new Xbox in almost eight years, the Xbox One. Photograph: Ron Wurzer/Bloomberg
Microsoft is scaling back its ambitious plans for the Xbox One launch, it has revealed, cutting the number of countries that it will be available in on launch day.
The next generation of Microsoft’s games console was originally intended to go on sale in 21 countries around the world, a goal the company described as “aggressive”. However, Microsoft has now dropped eight markets from the original launch day, with Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland being moved to 2014.
Ireland and the UK are still among the countries scheduled to get the console in November.
The company said it was making the change in part to meet demand for the console.
“While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets, there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches,” Microsoft said in a statement. “This includes work to localise the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country.”
Microsoft unveiled the new console in May, with plans to turn the console into a home entertainment hub that would also provide interactive TV services to users. Initial plans for the Xbox One gave users access to a digital library of their games, which would be tied to their Xbox Live account, but required users to “check in” via an internet connection on a regular basis to play games offline, and restricted the sharing of physical games discs between friends and family.
Microsoft reversed those policies in June, following criticism from consumers and the announcement by Sony that its PlayStation 4 console would not implement such restrictions.