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Xbox One delayed in eight markets

Xbox One delayed in eight markets

Wed 14 Aug 2013 5:35pm GMT / 1:35pm EDT / 10:35am PDT
Hardware

Launch pushed to 2014 in Russia, Nordic countries, and some other European markets as localization difficulties blamed

At E3, Microsoft said it would have Xbox One launching in 21 markets around the world this November. Today, the company acknowledged that goal was too aggressive, and pushed back the launch window for eight of those markets to "as soon as possible in 2014."

Countries affected by the delay include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

"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. "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."

The company also announced a make-good for those who had already preordered the Xbox One Day One system in those markets. Those customers will receive an unspecified pack-in game with their console when it arrives next year.

Microsoft is still planning to launch the Xbox One in 13 regions this November, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

24 Comments

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
It will be interesting to know what the current stance on regional protection schemes within the European Union is. Almost every person in Belgium and the Netherlands has driven faster to the nearest German or French shop than the average U.S American takes to commute to work.

I am also glad to hear Switzerland gets his own version of German/French/Italian localization and voice recognition. Schwizerdütsch ftw!

Posted:8 months ago

#1

Christian Keichel
Journalist

420 568 1.4
I am pretty sure, there won't be any regional protection within the PAL region. Maybe the rumours about the yield problems weren't just rumours at all, I can't think of any other reason, as the localisation problems don't sound very plausible. Text translation shouldn't be a problem and I think most of the games won't be dubbed with dansk, swedish, dutch, russian, norwegian (or Swizerdütsch ;) ) voices at all.
On a second thought the delay could be caused by the TV integration in the different markets, maybe MS is preparing something within the individual countries (e.g. national fantasy soccer leagues) and they weren't able to make deals in this specific countries yet.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 14th August 2013 10:32pm

Posted:8 months ago

#2

Germán Vázquez
Executive Producer

35 14 0.4
I thought I would have to wait till next year as soon as I read the headline but Mexico is off the hook :) not that it would have made a big difference since Im only a 2 hour drive to the border in Texas.

Posted:8 months ago

#3

Kevin Clark-Patterson
Lecturer in Games Development

288 23 0.1
Anything to do with higher demand in more 'popular' locations or simply not enough TV content available to make it a worthwhile purchase!?

Posted:8 months ago

#4

Yiannis Koumoutzelis
Founder & Creative Director

357 181 0.5
Localizarion is a lot more than just text translation in this case.
Deals with local content providers or, particular privacy policies etc. were the first things that came to mind.

Posted:8 months ago

#5
Popular Comment
I don't buy the localisation line. You shouldn't have localisation problems on a console you've been planning for years. And as for additional services/partnerships, what's wrong with updating the console as they become available, as they have done in the past? Xbox 360 didn't launch with Sky TV etc. It sounds like a hardware manufacturing problem to me.

Posted:8 months ago

#6

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@Matt: They shouldn't have a LOT of other problems with a console they've been planning for years (which Is why I cut them so little slack with all these rollbacks, "forward" moving pre-launch tweaks and other stuff they get patted on the head for as if it's a good thing to see all this turmoil before the product launches in a few short months)...

Posted:8 months ago

#7
It's almost as if they're making it up as they go along. How can they expect consumers and the games business to have any confidence in Xbox One when there's back-peddling, climb downs and strategy changes every week?

Posted:8 months ago

#8

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
@Matt

Because some people take it as the necessary steps to make a better product. They have done pretty much everything the public have asked for and it will probably pay off.

The console isn't exactly struggling for momentum right now despite the E3 backlash. It still has massive preorders, fan support and publisher support equal to or better than its rivals.

Its only August. Some of the uturns will be ancient history once people get down to playing games on their preferred platform. It just happens to be that the Xbox is better value and more open than it was a month ago now.

Posted:8 months ago

#9

Patrick Frost
QA Project Monitor

383 175 0.5
Sorry Adam but I agree with Matt, MS really seem like they are just doing anything to make the system more popular again.
Their behaviour and will to change things at the last minute indicates panic not any kind of planned strategy. Their message is getting more and more diluted, a lesson they should have learnt from apple on how to do things.

Posted:8 months ago

#10

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
Popular Comment
Limited supply -> shaft smaller markets -> provide BS excuses

You do not need further proof than the "delayed in Switzerland". Where people speak German, or French, or Italian, three localizations which are finished upon release.

Look at Switzerland again and you will find that it is legal there to redistribute all FreeTV station via your own rigged together IPTV service. MS could start there with 50 IPTV stations on the Xbox and no hassle to have them licensed.

Posted:8 months ago

#11

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
Sorry Adam but I agree with Matt, MS really seem like they are just doing anything to make the system more popular again.
Hold on guys, I'm not disagreeing about what they're actually doing, what I disagree with is the result.

Microsoft already have equal or more publisher support (even if we're talking DLC deals) than the PS4 and infinitely more than the Wii-U. Customer backing and anticipation has only risen based on the small evidence since the u-turns. There was a massive rebound on DRM policy change alone.

All I'm saying is that whilst now people are saying what a PR disaster everything is, later down the line you'll have a console that's doing pretty much everything the PS4 is doing, with most of the same games and all of the exclusives you expect from Microsoft.

At the end of the day, people will not care that in summer 2013 Microsoft "made things up" as they;

- Removed used game limitations
- Removed Kinect requirement
- Added a headset
- Opened up indie games more

And so on and so forth. They will simply see a console that is offering more for the money than it did in the initial (albeit disastrous at the time) announcement. Microsoft can also spin things as being a listening and acting exercise as opposed to ignoring customers, which by u-turning they are reacting to public opinion.

I'm keeping my ear to the ground. Support for the Xbox One is not minimising as policies are reversed, its increasing, even if the public opinion is still a few points behind the PS4. It is physically making the Xbox One a more desirable console, for either those who were not considering it (due to initial policies) or those on the edge.

To make it clear, that's why I disagree with the following;
How can they expect consumers and the games business to have any confidence in Xbox One
Its precisely the policy changes and backpedaling why they're expecting better support and confidence. Otherwise what's the point in changing anything?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 15th August 2013 2:46pm

Posted:8 months ago

#12

Stefan Pettersson
Specialist Consultant

79 19 0.2
As if day one-customers even care about localization. Come on - who are you kidding? Day one is all about day one, nothing else! Take that day one-feeling away and you'll risk losing the hardcore audience who doesn't care about the costs and buy a ton of launch games. Glad I ordered my Xbone (and most likely all the launch games when they're confirmed) from Amazon and not any Nordic retailer. Too bad for local business' though.

Posted:8 months ago

#13
So when importers do their "one time online set up" does that mean that they will be locked into a foreign market? Or will they be unable to activate the console due to IP geo-detection in regions where the console is delayed?

Posted:8 months ago

#14

Stefan Pettersson
Specialist Consultant

79 19 0.2
Christopher Garratty So when importers do their "one time online set up" does that mean that they will be locked into a foreign market? Or will they be unable to activate the console due to IP geo-detection in regions where the console is delayed?

Dunno. What I do know is that I have both my 360:s on English language setting and with UK as location although being in Sweden. Otherwise titles from EA and Ubi Soft will be played in forced Swedish language. And those in-game translations are among the worst there is (if you don't believe me; try the Assassin's Creed-series - it's so bad it's basically unplayable for adults). So I would definately try to set up my two Xbone's as UK-region anyway, especially since I don't care about the tv-stuff that comes with 'em.

Posted:8 months ago

#15

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

178 880 4.9
Let's run the explanation through a BS filter.... .... ... and there we go:

"We won't have enough XBox One units manufactured by the time we plan to launch, so we will focus on the markets that really matter to us, instead of some wossname countries somewhere on the other side of the planet".

I am looking forward to seeing Sony's attitude to putting enough units even to obscure European countries (I live in one as well, so nobody please take any offence ;-) ) They seem to be focusing on "emerging" markets much more than Microsoft.

Posted:8 months ago

#16

Bjorn Larsson
CEO & Executive Producer

9 4 0.4
Scandinavia and Finland, with Sweden in particular, are traditional Xbox strongholds and decidedly pro-anglo cultures, almost everyone (except the very young kids) speaks and expects English so language is not a barrier. Not releasing early in the Nordics is a long-term, tactical failure. Also, more than a few Xbox 360 titles have done better in Sweden than in (by population) larger markets such as Italy and Spain. PS4 may re-establish PS/Sony as the market leader in Scandinavia quickly; which in the long term will influence developer loyalty and "scene" culture to the detriment of Microsoft.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bjorn Larsson on 15th August 2013 8:23pm

Posted:8 months ago

#17

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
Disregarding all the other aspects to this article:

@ Adam Campbell

Support for the Xbox One is not minimising as policies are reversed, its increasing, even if the public opinion is still a few points behind the PS4.

Is that just in the North American market? I'm only seeing that trend, anecdotally, where there's a large support from MS within the local market (aka, NA) and where the market most strongly supported the 360 (aka, NA*).

* I'm not seeing much push towards any console from the UK market.

Overall, my feeling towards the One skews towards Matt's opinion (MS is treading water) however, the reality is that I, and most people I know, don't get the choice between the XBO and PS4... we only get to choose the PS4. If this is the end result, regardless of the $100 or however much in £ and € the difference is, then the XBO doesn't stand a chance in this generation because it will not build the numbers, worldwide, to sustain itself...

Posted:8 months ago

#18
one more bad bit of news to come before we head towards the finish line!

Posted:8 months ago

#19

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

717 500 0.7
@Christian
Microsoft already said that that XOne will be completely region free. Really hope they keep their promise since I import a lot of PS3 Stuff from Canada and Japan that is not released here in Europe (OR when I can't wait, like recently with Dragon's Crown)

Posted:8 months ago

#20

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
Is that just in the North American market? I'm only seeing that trend, anecdotally, where there's a large support from MS within the local market (aka, NA) and where the market most strongly supported the 360 (aka, NA*).

* I'm not seeing much push towards any console from the UK market.
Quite the contrary. Support for Xbox One based on polls was incredibly poor in the US initially with no domestic bias.

Whether we looking at polls or the good old 'friend survey' opinions are changing.

From a UK perspective, I have no polls to hand but I know people who were not getting the console simply because of used games policies. Add on the other controversies and even Halo fans were wanting PS4. Its not the same story a month or two later.

The average gamer will not care about strategic mistakes one summer in 2013. They will see console policies and features moving/ working in their favour, when it matters (when the consoles and games are on the shelf).

I added this critique before, but Sony hasn't really had to do anything, and the unveiling whilst lacking controversy also lacked much else. Sony also manged to throw in unfavourable policies (I.e. paying for multiplayer) and backed down on their own used game tech before seeing the backlash on Xbox.

Once the fog clears and a lot of the press dies down, people will be focussing on the games and what they can get out of the system. If Sony wants to outsell Xbox in the long run (outside Japan), they still have to prove they can provide a better gaming system and a better multi-media system than their rival.

Nothing is set in stone right now and I just think people should keep this in mind before citing policy reversals as Xbox One's demise. Which isn't true, because if anything it has improved public opinion. Publisher support was never a problem, except some controversies with indie studios. As you would expect, changes there will improve support too not reduce it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 16th August 2013 10:27am

Posted:8 months ago

#21

Rafa Ferrer
Localisation Manager

40 60 1.5
The average gamer will not care about strategic mistakes one summer in 2013. They will see console policies and features moving/ working in their favour, when it matters (when the consoles and games are on the shelf).
Also, we sometimes forget there's a fair amount of gamers who don't even follow the news, and the next thing they'll know is there's a new Xbox on the shelves. A lot of people will never know what happened at launch and what policies were changed when the console finally hits the stores, let alone a year from then with a decent game lineup. They will just care about the extra $100.

Posted:8 months ago

#22

Roland Austinat
roland austinat media productions|consulting

112 57 0.5
@Alfonso: Xbox 360 was region free, too. I was able to run some European Sega games on my US system. Others were recognized in the Dashboard but the US 360 didn't play them. Skyrim, I'm looking at you. So it's been the choice of the publisher for a long time really.

@Klaus:
It will be interesting to know what the current stance on regional protection schemes within the European Union is. Almost every person in Belgium and the Netherlands has driven faster to the nearest German or French shop than the average U.S American takes to commute to work.
Here's my theory: Germany hasn't been the strongest market for Xbox historically, but they can't afford to not launch there on day one. So by having some surrounding countries not properly stocked, i.e. delayed, those countrymen and -women will simply buy their system in Germany, thus bringing up the amount of consoles sold in Germany. Quite brilliant plan, actually. ;)

Posted:8 months ago

#23

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