Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Microsoft reveals the Xbox One retail launch date and sets up the biggest console war ever

Microsoft has finally revealed the retail release date for its next-generation Xbox One video gaming console. The date, the company said on Wednesday (via The Guardian), is Nov. 22.

The console will hit retail in 13 major territories -- including North America and the U.K. on that date. Thankfully, that date is one week before Black Friday, which occurs on Nov. 29 this year. That means that the trampling of Xbox fans will be kept to a minimum.

The choice of date seems to be time to fit right in between its rival Sony's launches for its PlayStation 4. The PS4 will arrive in North America on Nov. 15 and in Europe on Nov. 29. Microsoft is showing confidence -- perhaps arrogance -- by choosing a rollout smack dab in the middle of its Sony's launch period.

Both manufacturers have eschewed prior console launch tradition: Neither has provided a release date for Japan. Previous console cycles traditionally used Japan to premiere their hardware.

Yusuf Mehdi, the vice-president of marketing, strategy and business for Xbox wrote the following statement on the Xbox Wire website:
The culmination of many years of listening to you, our fans, developing innovative technology, and partnering with the best game and entertainment partners in the industry has brought us to this point. There is still a lot more work to do, but the teams are making excellent progress and are focused on launch.
This is possibly the console war to end all console wars, with both next-generation consoles arriving at retail within a week of each other. A look at history shows that -- although the two consoles continue to duke it out -- the debuts of the Xbox 360 and the PS3 were spaced nearly a year apart.

The Xbox One was unveiled to a backlash from fans: It had, for example, always-on-the-Internet DRM protection that caused a furor. Microsoft reversed those decisions after Sony began to make hay with its PS4, which had no such requirements.

The PS4 has a price advantage, but that stems from the Xbox One ($499) shipping with the Kinect motion controller, while the PS4's ($399) motion control and camera peripheral is sold separately.

Pre-orders for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can be made at (linked).

No comments: