The Xbox One won’t arrive in Asia until a full year after it hits US shelves, Microsoft has confirmed, with gamers in several countries being forced to wait for a “staged approach” as the company supposedly localizes content. Those in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and India won’t get the Xbox One until November 2014, Microsoft confirmed to the WSJ, despite Microsoft itself conceding that the region will be one of the big growth areas for gaming.
In fact, the Xbox 360 is currently the best-selling console in Asia, Microsoft’s Alan Bowman, regional VP for sales and marketing, told the newspaper. Microsoft’s gaming revenues there are supposedly increasing a healthy 20-percent year-on-year.
Instead, Microsoft will focus on pushing the redesigned Xbox 360, also revealed at E3 this week, in Asia. That will hopefully benefit from a “halo effect” caused by the Xbox One, Bowman suggests.
Ironically, some of the core design decisions around the Xbox One were made with Asian gamers in mind. The new Kinect sensor, mandatory with the console, has been updated to work more effectively in smaller rooms, for instance; that’s a reaction to middling results with the original sensor bar for the Xbox 360, which sometimes struggled to operate properly in more compact living environments.
Unclear at this stage is when the Xbox One will launch in Japan. According to a Microsoft Japan E3 press release, that date is yet to be decided.
Microsoft confirmed pricing and availability for the Xbox One at E3 yesterday, with the next-gen console hitting stores in November. It will be priced at $499, $100 more than Sony later revealed it would ask for the PS4.