If you have any enemies in Sweden who are looking forward to the release of the Xbox One, plan on taunting them this November, as Microsoft’s new console has been delayed there, along with seven other countries, until 2014, according to Microsoft. The eight countries that are facing delays are as follows: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. A specific date has not been given, but Microsoft is hoping to release its next-gen console in those countries “as soon as possible in 2014. “
“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 in a statement. “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 explanation is fairly nebulous, and raises the question of why eight countries that are geographically close but separated by cultures and languages are all affected. The Kinect is designed to recognize voices, and it must be a massive undertaking to program it for dozens of languages and dialects, but that doesn’t explain why a French speaking country like Belgium is on the list while France is not. The same goes for Switzerland, a country that recognizes the native tongues of Germany, France, and Italy, none of which are expecting delays.
The good news to take away from this is that it sounds like the problems are software and content related and not due to hardware shortages, a potential problem for any new hardware launching globally.
Microsoft has yet to issue an exact date for Xbox One other than November, but it did confirm that it’s planning to release simultaneously in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and New Zealand.
To make it up to fans in the eight countries, those who have already pre-ordered the Xbox One will receive a “pack-in game” when the console launches. Customers are told to check with their local retailers closer to launch for details.
“We understand this will be disappointing news for our fans in the impacted countries, and we are doing everything we can to bring Xbox One to you as soon as possible next year,” Microsoft said.