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Microsoft Makes Yet Another Xbox One Blunder

Is Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  )  trying to sabotage its own console? The announcement that the company is scrapping eight countries from the Xbox One launch date – along with its other Xbox missteps – might make you think it was. 

First, it was digital rights management restrictions and requiring an always-on connection for the Xbox One that gave gamers fits. After back-pedaling on what everyone already knew were ridiculous ideas, the company now says it will release the Xbox One in 13 countries on the launch date -- instead of the 21 countries it previously said it would debut in.

Xbox One. Source: Microsoft.

Somewhere, a group of Sony executives is laughing.

Microsoft said in a blog post that it had to adjust the amount of countries that will receive the Xbox One in November "in order to meet demand." Whether that's completely true or not is hard to tell, but what we do know is that there are just 13 countries that will make the November launch date, including:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • New Zealand

As for the remaining countries from the original list, the company said it will get the Xbox One to them "as soon as possible" -- sometime in 2014. Those countries include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

To make up for the change in launch countries, Microsoft is offering a pack-in game to customers that live in one of the scrapped launch countries (and have already pre-ordered the new console). The company isn't giving out details about what game it will be and said customers will have to contact the retailer they pre-ordered the console from closer to launch date. That sounds like fun.

Difficult times for Microsoft devices
The latest setback for Microsoft comes after the company just had a $900 million "inventory adjustment" for Surface RT tablets, as well as slashing the tablet's cost by $150. To help boost sluggish sales, the Surface Pro 64 GB just received a $100 price cut earlier this month as well. As if that weren't enough, Microsoft had to put together an early update for Windows 8 -- Windows 8.1 Preview -- to pacify users who didn't like the missing Start button from the OS. It's safe to say the past few months haven't been all that encouraging for Microsoft's new initiatives.

In the past, the Xbox has been one of Microsoft's shining lights, but with so many hiccups surrounding the product launch, I don't think the new console will enjoy the same status its predecessor did. That's unfortunate for a company that needs to capture consumers' attention right now – and positive attention, mind you. Lately, Microsoft has managed to create devices and software that have missed consumer expectations, and missing consumer expectations ultimately means investor expectations go unfulfilled as well.

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Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2013, at 9:21 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Blah, blah, blah if they don't like it buy something else or go to a neighboring country and buy an XBox there. Much too do about nothing.

  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2013, at 10:40 PM, melegross wrote:

    Doesn't work that way techy. If you buy it in another country, and then try to buy games and other media for it, they might not work because of the DRM and region controls. Yes, it does know where it came from.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 2:32 AM, irtanto30 wrote:

    lol you are misleading xbox one now are drm and region free meaning you can buy it anywhere and play it without internet

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 2:34 AM, amenamerica wrote:

    Good! Russia doesn't need any of our good stuff.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 2:53 AM, edteked wrote:

    I find it interesting that Japan is missing from *BOTH* lists...

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 4:44 AM, deputyspade wrote:

    I find that Japan missing from their lists interesting as well. It's the 4th biggest economy in the world and has a population of 125 million people, which is twice the size of the UK. I doubt a MS console will ever be accepted there. Sounds like they are having supply chain issues to me.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 4:45 AM, deputyspade wrote:

    @amenamerica, you do realize xboxes are made in China don't you? They are hardly an american console.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 6:09 AM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    Japan hates the XBOX with good reason. Their culture is similar to the USA's culture during it's golden era, it is all about good products which last forever.

    Back in the day I'd love a Chevy or a Ford, even a Pontiac, today I want a Toyota. I've done so much research and have found that the car for me is a Toyota because I am a conservative when it comes to using gasoline and limited resources.

    If I want a muscle car? Nissan, Lotus, Subaru... That's my very specific car list.

    In America, new is the best, regardless of how rugged or useful a product is, new is better. Ad campaigns work... Look at the XBOXone.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 3:51 PM, jayintheatl wrote:

    Man, what an enormous blunder: too much demand in the US, Canada, Australia, and Mexico markets.

    Is it disappointing when suppliers and production can't keep up with demand for the first new Xbox in almost a decade? Sure.

    If Sony ships every PS4 unit to every country on time, I'll be amazed. Barring that, everyone will just have to wait their turn for the next hugely popular console that will also do just about any other entertainment-related function in your home.

    What a blunder.

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