In a move that confirms what many have feared for months, the release of the Xbox One will be delayed until 2014 in several countries. The affected nations include Russia, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, leaving the November 2013 launch date intact for the denizens of just 13 countries. Microsoft argues that the move is necessary to ensure the best experience for gamers, but I doubt affected gamers who were hoping to give or receive an Xbox One for the holidays will agree. According to Eurogamer, Microsoft had this to say:
We want to ensure our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. In order to meet initial demand and deliver the best product and experience for consumers, we are narrowing our November launch from 21 countries to 13.
In an attempt to assuage those who will have to wait longer for their consoles to arrive, Microsoft announced that residents of the affected countries who have already pre-ordered an Xbox One will receive a free game at launch:
“We understand this is disappointing news to our fans in those markets. To show our appreciation for their patience, customers who have already pre-ordered an Xbox One Day One system before today in those countries will also receive a pack-in game with their system when it launches. (Subject to availability; see your local retailer where you pre-ordered for complete details.)”
The list of countries still expected to see an Xbox One launch in November includes US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria.