While Microsoft has been anxiously talking up the launch window for its next-generation gaming console, the Xbox One as launching this November, it seems that’s not entirely true for those who live outside of its tier-one territories, like Asia.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft’s regional vice president for sales and marking in Asia, Alan Bowman detailed a slightly different launch approach than the one Microsoft had so far led users to believe. According to Bowman, to ensure every one of its users has a “great experience” Microsoft will stagger its launch of the Xbox One.
Instead of launching when the console does in North America and Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and India will get the new console, and those users will have to wait a year, indicating a launch sometime in late 2014.
It this staggered approach, and the year delay that it creates that will allow Microsoft the breathing room to create more content tailored specifically to Asian gamers. Asian users will also have a variant of the Xbox One hardware that’s made with their needs in mind.
Though, the device will still come with a Kinect sensor for creating physical gaming experiences it’ll do so with a “dramatically reduced” room requirement. Today’s Kinect sensor, which launched in 2010 notably requires about 10 feet of room to be effectively used, depending on where the user has positioned it in their room.
Bownman also says that Microsoft has “deepened” its relationship with publishers in Asian gaming markets as well. It’s widely believed that the Xbox 360’s lukewarm reception in some parts of Asia is due to a lack of localized content. If Microsoft has reached out to these developers, they could see mindshare games in the region with each new title released on the system.
Until the Xbox One arrives in Asia in 2014, Microsoft will continue to heavily market the Xbox 360 in the region and continue to ensure that gamers are stocked with fresh video game content to enjoy on the system.
This week, Microsoft announced that it would ship the Xbox One this holiday season for $499, while Sony will make its Playstation 4 available to users for just $399. With the Playstation’s lower price point, more Asian-centric games, and now this year delay, Microsoft may have just ensured they’ll continue to struggle in those markets against Sony.
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