News Article

Reaction: Xbox One Delay Leaves the Door Ajar for PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Windows of opportunity

There will have been one of two reactions to Microsoft’s sizeable Xbox One delay within Sony’s colossal European headquarters today: cheers or mopped brows. At almost every turn, the North American company has been playing into the PlayStation maker’s hands, and this latest setback is just another example of that. It’s certainly not the end of the world for the Redmond-based firm, but it’s not exactly sunshine and rainbows either.

It’s certainly not the end of the world for Microsoft, but it’s not exactly sunshine and rainbows either

For those out of the loop, the Xbox team announced a small delay to its next generation console in several European regions today. While the system is still on track in major territories such as the United States, Germany, and the UK, those in Russia, Belgium, and the Netherlands will be made to wait. In all, the firm has downgraded its initial launch plans from 21 countries to just 13. Those residing in one of the slashed regions will receive the console in 2014, alongside a free game.

Before we discuss the subject further, it’s worth remembering that Sony hasn’t actually detailed which territories will get the PlayStation 4 this year – for good reason, judging by today’s news. The company has said that the system will release this holiday in Europe and North America, but that’s all that we really know. Theoretically, the Japanese giant’s device could still launch in fewer nations than the Xbox One – but it seems unlikely.

And that’s bad news for Microsoft’s machine. Not only is its next generation console really up against the wall at the moment, but its brand is also historically weak in continental Europe. Regions like Finland are not necessarily going to swing the console war in Sony’s favour, but if the Japanese giant can ensure that its system is available when the competition isn’t, that will further secure the PlayStation brand’s dominance in those nations. It’ll be hard for the Xbox One to fight back.

The fact that the Redmond-based company’s had to downgrade in the first place hints at a larger narrative, though: it’s having issues. Irrespective of the claims in its press material, 21 territories is not particularly ambitious – it managed Japan, North America, and a large majority of Europe within the span of a month with the Xbox 360. Sony was less successful with the PlayStation 3, but that was due to manufacturing setbacks.

And it does beg the question whether Microsoft is facing similar issues. It’s said that the delay is due to localisation, but there had been rumours that the firm was struggling with production, and those were reinforced by surprisingly low pre-order allotments globally. It’s clear that the company thought that it could hit 21 territories, because it almost certainly wouldn’t have announced that number otherwise. Today’s delay alludes to a last minute hitch.

There’s another theory, though: the firm may be focusing its efforts on the regions where its brand is the most popular. Shortages in North America and the UK would be disastrous – especially with Sony offering a more affordable alternative. There’s a chance that Microsoft may have reassigned all of its output to the largest regions, presumably to ensure that it has stock available against the PS4.

Microsoft may have reassigned all of its manufacturing efforts to the largest regions

And that is where Sony needs to be careful, too. With both next generation systems offering such comparable experiences, hardware shortages may not be such a good thing. The average consumer shopping for a new console this Christmas will likely purchase whichever is available, and if Xbox Ones are sitting on store shelves when PS4s aren’t, that will be a problem. Of course, that example also plays the opposite way.

The good news is that Sony seems to understand that, as recent reports reiterated that the firm intends to get as many stray systems into the retail channel as possible at launch. Those tactics won’t change because of today’s Xbox One delay, but the news will still prompt a reaction within Sony land. That will come in the form of jubilation or relief, depending on the platform holder’s plans. Considering the events of the past few months, the former seems more likely to us.

What do you make of the Xbox One’s delay in parts of Europe? Do you think that it means much, or do you reckon that it’s just an unfortunate incident for those residing in the removed regions? Let us know in the comments section below.

User Comments (47)



CrazyOtto said:

Those regions have a huge preference for Sony, which is not good for MS there.



artemisthemp said:

I already seen 3 changing to Sony, because they is tired of been threat like **** by M$



PMasterTy9 said:

While this might be another issue for Microsoft, I don't think it will hurt them that much since those territories are more pro Sony anyways. If here is a delay in US, Canada, and the UK launch then that would definitely hurt them.



get2sammyb said:

@PMasterTy9 Oh, I absolutely agree. The thing is - you'd expect them to at least fight. Especially when they consider Europe to be critical.

Nevertheless, this does happen. Like I said in the article, we still don't really know which regions PS4 will be available in.



Ginkgo said:

The way that I read the XBox180 announcement is that the delay is caused by lack of content in those regions. With all of the TV focus etc, I could imaging that they have to find local partners in each region or half the features just don't work.

But who knows. That could just be an excuse and they are struggling to manufacture enough.



get2sammyb said:

@Ginkgo It's totally my opinion, but I don't really buy that. I think it's a case of supply. The big question for me is whether they've shifted the allocation originally intended for those countries to other regions, or simply can't make enough.



buickmackane said:

Who cares about other markets and who cares who sells more consoles. I don't give a rats ass if it's not released in Japan or frickin' Greenland. It's coming to Canada and so is the PS4 and I'm getting both so I win. The only losers are the fanboys. Sorry to the territories not getting day one release, but I'm tired of fanboys......period.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

Well...Amazon Germany just recently confirmed that all PS4 preorders before August 6th will arrive on launch day...since I preordered on June 21st or so, that's all I care for. Would sell a kidney to be able to afford the PS4 at launch...not necessarily my kidney, though...



get2sammyb said:

@buickmackane While I agree with the overall sentiment of your post, I can't help but feel that it's a teensy bit narrow-minded. This does have implications, no matter how small.



Ginkgo said:

@get2sammyb : Yes, previous reports did say that PS4 had larger launch allocations than XBox, so yes, maybe they are reallocating in their key regions to make sure they have enough/compete. Certainly possible.

Either way is it bad for them, because Sony already has a larger world footprint, and this will just give them a firmer foot hold in those areas.



MadchesterManc said:

@get2sammyb Like you say theres defintely more to this than TV & localisation. With everything thats been heppening with the XB1 since its reveal, Ive been thinking that Microsoft are not ready to launch this year and have had thier hand forced due to Sonys insistance on launching before christmas. E3 was one of the biggest things to lead me to this conclusion with most of the XB1 games shown running on PC's while Sony's games were running on dev-kits n the like. If brute force computers are needed to showcase titles things aren't as far along as people are led to beleive. The news recently of Forza 5 needing day one DLC to be downloaded for the game containing Cars/Tracks to complete the game is proof enough to me that development is going down to the wire. I feel sorry for Microsoft somewhat as they have no choice but to proceed with a pre-Xmas launch with a product that deosn't quite seem ready otherwise lose too much market share. I wouldn't be suprised if Microsoft have been in overdrive since Februarys Ps4 reveal as they were probably expecting a 2014 launch by Sony



InsertNameHere said:

That sucks for the Xbox fans in those regions, but at least they get a free game.

I think all these 180's are partially to blame, they just pulled one recently and made the Kinect non-mandatory for the system to function, but they're still forcing people to buy it.



Visiblemode said:

I think it's partly the effect of having units to compete in prime territory...but I offer a third reason: time.

Lemme explain, I think it's possible they aren't ready for mass production or got started late. This might be due in part to feature mirroring in xb1 announcements. They may have gotten ahead of their architecture and had to take time/are taking time to make sure launch units are cooked right. All along they've played mocking bird to the PS4, maybe now that it's almost time to fly they were short a few feathers.



Grockumus said:

Short a few feathers, indeed. Besides, from the looks of it, PS4 came into the picture WELL prepared. Xbox One, on the other hand, seemed more like someone in the middle of the night having an air horn blown into their ear, stumbling around half awake, rushing around and finding their clothes just to get dressed.



charlesnarles said:

Seems like it boils down to Sony being ready and Microsoft not being ready. Sony started cooking before MS, and you can't just turn the oven up at the very end and have a comparable product. Burnt outside, raw inside vs golden brown kinda deal, so they have to just wait for them all to finish cooking and eat the consequences. Poor guys...



rjejr said:

Is Russia considered a European country? Isnt it a separate continent?

Im surprised they're launching this in any country that isnt big into the NFL, its so fantasy football focused.

I didnt even know November was the X1 launch month, whens the PS4 release?



Subie98 said:

All console manufacturers have this issue eventually. Nintendos had it, sony's had it with the ps3. We'll see how Microsoft handles this. Its a possibility that this could be their last console. I also think this will be good for them as a humbling experience. It was good for sony last generation and look at them this year. I personally feel its very vital Microsoft needs to learn they arent invincible and can't treat its fans like crap and not have push back. How they handled people with the xb1 was insulting and offensive and im not even a big xbox fan. My .02



-CraZed- said:

@buickmackane It means those who DID preorder an XB One is any of those territories will now have to wait until next year to get one which might spur them to buy a different console as in a PS4. How does it affect you? Not in the slightest but that wasn't his point now was it?



buickmackane said:

@-CraZed- What was his point then oh great and powerful mind reader? Like I said, I don't give a **** about what anyone else wants or buys and nobody elses purchase affects the fact I'm getting both. So if you have some unbelievable ultimate wisdom to share why I'm affected by MS releasing in fewer countries then your word means something.......til then your post is useless.



-CraZed- said:

@buickmackane Well, you're a right friendly bloke now aren't you? So glad to know you were spurred by your lack of caring to post such a heartfelt post decrying your lack of concern for others' purchasing habits. Not sure where anyone insinuated you would be affected. However, there are people affected by the news since they have already preordered an XBone and now have to wait until some later date in 2014.
Do you care? Apparently just enough to post a screed on how fortunate you are to have ordered both. Thank you for your time sunshine!



longshot28 said:

Some people fail to realize, this is brought on by lack of units and if they allocate more units to certain areas, even people who pre ordered may get screwed out of a day one console, a shortage is a shortage and could effect anyone who paid for one.



Jaz007 said:

@buickmackane How well a console does affects the content it gets, you'll be effected if both consoles struggle, and what other poeple buy. Those of us who don't have the money to get both consoles will be affected by how well our console of choice does in comparison to competition. All of these events paint the larger picture of well a consoles does. The content a console gets are the "implications" that are being talked about.



Sanquine said:

@b*hole you're at a PS only game site what do you expect to find? PS i live in the Netherlands and you are a hypocrit. Maybe i wanted to buy a xbox one. But i guess the justin biebers of this world get the consoles. We have to wait a couple of months



Reverend_Skeeve said:

First, I want to apologize for my slightly short-sighted and/or bullish post from yesterday. I might have had a beer and that might have had something to do with that. *cough

Btt: I don't buy Microsofts explanation either. They didn't seem to be too much concerned in the past if they didn't launch "the best Xbox-experience possible in every region"...most features on 360 launched in the US first and did take ages to filter down to other markets. Also, I think if they had the stock to launch in all originally announced markets, they would do so. Why give Sony a head start, especially when they know how they're perceived just now.

So this gives the rumors that MS has manufacturing/quality issues more cred. Sure looks like they have to shift stock to at least do a proper launch in at least the 13 territories now confirmed for launch.

@Grockumus Well said. Exactly my impression.



Shaolin said:

Hello All, this is my first post on here but I've been following this excellent blog for just under a year now. In that time I've kept coming back religiously for the jovial spirit and great insight on all matters of the PlayStation kind. I'm a self-confessed PlayStation fan you see

What made me decide to register and leave a comment after all this time? Well, it's just to leave some brief feedback really. I was prompted by buickmackane's posts and the responses to it. You see I love coming here to get my fix of Playstation news but recently I've started to find the mentions of Xbox matters to be a tad bit aggressive in a deathmatchy type way. It's a little bit intimidating for easy going folk like me who enjoy coming here to catch up with Playstaion gossip.

I totally understand if this blog is being angled to cater for those people who relish seeing a competitive head-to-head with Xbox but as someone who has never owned one it just seems a little bit belligerent, dare I say it, narrow minded?

Anyway, I hope this post doesn't come across as being too hard hitting especially as it's my first post. I do feel that this is a brilliant blog and Sammy is a great writer.



buickmackane said:

@-CraZed- my apologies if I come off hot under the collar. Am a gamer first and the xbox vs ps debate got old for me a long time ago. I'm a fan of both through their victories and struggles. The point for me though remains. How is MS not releasing in Poland in 2013 affecting anyone? It doesn't. And it's still going to that country in early 2014 and we still don't know Sony's plans. We all know MS and Sony will sell a bazillion consoles each. The only console maker who needs to stay worried is Nintendo in my eyes. But again, that's just me.



buickmackane said:

@Jaz007 And you really believe Xbox One will struggle? People are loyal to their products and with all the backtracking MS has done they are winning back their American loyalists and It will sell out and it will keep pace with Sony. So if you know of any REAL implications....fill me in.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@buickmackane Many, but not all are loyal. I had a 360 and loved it, but after all the 180s and inconsistent behavior by MS (not to mention their original outrageous DRM plans), I'm jumping do a lot of former Xbox owners among my friends. This means probably nothing in the big picture, agreed; I am sure the Xbox One will still sell very well in the US at least...and to a certain degree in Europe. Nonetheless, I believe that MS has alienated a lot of former Xbox fans...and it will show.

And well, it will affect those people in the "no launch in 2013"-countries that wanted to have their shiny new next gen system by Christmas 2013 (in their case the X1). At best they will just be disappointed...but may (in the worst case for MS) also decide that they don't want to wait when the PS4 is already available. And many people aren't lucky enough to be able to afford two systems from the get go, so Microsofts action will leave a bad feeling and lose them customers in the end.



buickmackane said:

@Reverend_Skeeve Well Rev, that's your choice to go with Sony. For me, all the sniping going on online has brainwashed a lot of sheeple. It has done some good though because MS did back away from a bunch of their stupid plans. In a year from now do you really think anyone will care about the proposed features that xbox was going to introduce? All I know is we're all the beneficiaries of a two or three platform world because competition is always healthy and the games will get even better with one maker pushing the other. So if those are the IMPLICATIONS I'm going to see, then we all win.



buickmackane said:

@Reverend_Skeeve you were right about some not being able to afford both and some will have to choose. I am very fortunate that I can afford both so I did overlook that. But MS will still sell boatloads of consoles.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@buickmackane Agreed. Especially in America, the X1 will surely sell very well. There's a huge amount of sports fans there and the services catered to them that MS'll offer will make 'em flock to the box.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@Shaolin Welcome to the site, then! I found Pushsquare during E3 and was pleasantly surprised that it's almost completely free of bashing, fanboyism and inappropriate language (for decent, mature discussions). Rare find in the vortex of chaos that the rest of the net seems to be. Also, the articles are always a good read and a good basis/starting point for aforementioned decent discussions.



Shaolin said:

@Reverend_Skeeve Thanks very much for welcoming me to the site - that's very kind of you and means a lot to me.

@buickmackane I tend to agree with your points - I think that both PlayStation & Xbox will always have their own large fanbases together with fellows like yourself who enjoy using both. I've aligned myself with PlayStation up till now but I'd like to think that I wouldn't be a traitor to my community if I ever wanted to try out an Xbox.



buickmackane said:

@Shaolin yeah loyalties are great but competition is good for us all. Even the pc community benefits enormously from these new consoles. The lowest platform was what the developers were handcuffed to before, that being mainly the 360, but now with more ram and better chips we are going to see some amazing games in the next few years with this new hardware. PS4 looks to be the one with the better innards but I expect to see great things coming from MS too. Like I said earlier, we all win.



Jaz007 said:

@buickmackane I don't think it will struggle, and I never said it would, but this will have an effect. It may not be a large effect, but all of the smaller effects can combine to make a larger effect. That is how it has implications. Just because it's small, doesn't mean it doesn't have some sort of effect.



buickmackane said:

well I don't see it affecting my purchase. Did the original price of the PS3 or anything Sony boasted about the PS3 affect your enjoyment of that console?



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@Shaolin Awww! More than welcome, sir! You'll like it here, I'm sure.

@buickmackane Indeed, competition is always good. Even if I'm disgruntled with MS just now, I'm glad they're around, because that means Sony has to keep working to stay at the top of the game...even if it doesn't seem too hard just lately...

And also the other way around. If there wasn't any competition in the form of Sony for MS, they'd have had a lot less pressure to change...well...pretty much everything about their system.

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