Aug 15, 2013
Yesterday Microsoft announced that the launch of the Xbox One console would be delayed in several regions across Europe. Purchasers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland will have to wait until early 2014 to get their hands on the console. Thirteen other markets, including the UK, are still set for a simultaneous release in November.
Microsoft blamed localisation issues for the delay, stating “While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets, there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches. This includes work to localize the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country.”
Alongside this there were signs that Microsoft’s PR problems are not behind them as prior to yesterday’s announcement Aaron Greenberg (chief of staff for Devices and Studios Group at Microsoft) tweeted “Ha, don’t believe everything you read” – apparently in response to Game Reactor reporting on the rumoured delay.
Off the back of the announced delays to Xbox One, Sweden-based Battlefield 4 gameplay designers Alan Kertz and Gustav Halling took to Twitter, stating “I see Microsoft seems intent on making it easier and easier to pick PS4 for Gen4 in Sweden” and “Not sure what Xbox is thinking when not launching in a progressive country like Sweden, we always buy what is hot and that will be PS4” respectively. Having people associated with a heavweight project like BF4 publically voicing their support for Sony’s next gen console and slating Xbox One will surely not help Microsoft’s ongoing PR battle.
Microsoft has offered a “pack-in game” to those who have pre-ordered in the effected areas, but when combined with the seemingly unending stream of policy reverals and negative PR it is unsure whether this will placate customers or simply give Playstation 4 a further head start in those regions.