Earlier this week Microsoft announced that it would delay the launch of its next-generation console in eight European territories to "as soon as possible in 2014." Those countries include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. Responding in a NeoGAF forum thread, Microsoft senior director of product planning Albert Penello explained the reason for the delay and how citizens of those affected countries can still get an Xbox One system as early as the rest of the world.
The main reason for the delay, according to Penello, is that the company does not have enough time before launch to add local language support (voice, text) in the system's dashboard.
"Launch volumes are not really an issue," he said on NeoGAF. "This was simply a software issue in terms of getting local language and voice support in the dash. It's pretty straightforward, but disappointing I know for people who are missing launch."
Penello also said that, while he is in favor of consumers waiting for official launches in those eight regions, that doesn't mean they can't simply buy a system from a nearby launch region because the Xbox One and its games are region free (the Xbox 360 is region locked).
"Second, the console will work everywhere (keeping in mind power supplies)," he said. "You can use one of the 13 digital marketplaces corresponding to our launch markets, assuming you have a valid payment instrument for those countries."
There are a few caveats to doing that, he points out, including the fact that some music and video content might be geo-restricted based on licensing, and the challenge of different types of power supplies used from country-to-country in Europe.
At the end of the day, consumers can buy a console from a neighboring country within the November launch window – and assuming it supports the same power supply as their home country – start playing alongside everyone else.
The Xbox One launches this fall for £430/€500/$500.