Earlier this afternoon a source claimed that Microsoft were to announce the surprise delay of Xbox One tomorrow, though it was uncertain whether that meant worldwide or just for Europe.
Microsoft have now confirmed and clarified the matter with an official press release stating that the projected 21 markets expected to receive Xbox One come November has been cut down to 13 - meaning eight countries won't be receiving Xbox One until 2014. The company explained the delay as "to ensure our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day its available".
"While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets," reads the release, "there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches. 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."
As a result, Xbox One won't be launching in the following countries until next year: Russia, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. No specific date was given, only "as soon as possible", says the firm.
The console will launch in November this year in thirteen markets, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the US.
Microsoft is expected to reveal more information about Xbox One's launch at next week's Gamescom.
The full press release reads as follows:
Today we're providing an update to our launch plans for Xbox One. At Xbox, our goal is to provide the best games and entertainment experience possible and the team continues to make great progress on delivering Xbox One.
At E3, we announced that Xbox One would be available in 21 markets around the world at launch. This was an aggressive goal and the team has been working very hard to deliver Xbox One to as many markets as possible.
Our priority is ensuring our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. To do that, and in order to meet demand, we have adjusted the number of markets that will receive Xbox One in November to 13 markets, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand, in November.
We remain committed to launching Xbox One in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, 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. 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.
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.
If you are in these markets and have questions about your pre-order, please contact the local retailer where you placed your pre-order. To show our appreciation for your patience, if you have already preordered an Xbox One Day One system before today in those countries, you will also receive a pack-in game with your console when it launches.*
Thank you for your patience - we are grateful for your support and remain committed to delivering the best Xbox One experience for your market."