Xbox One release delay explained - there are no manufacturing problems, insists Microsoft

Gamescom demos using "real, final, retail kit"

Microsoft's head of product development, Albert Penello, has said that the console's delay in some European territories is due to the complexities of localising its new voice-control features, and pointed to its use of near-final retail kits at Gamescom as proof that there are no supply problems.

Following a demo of the console's new interface, which uses voice controls for features like game capture, he confirmed that the extra localisation work this has required is the key reason behind the console's delayed launch in eight territories.


"I think people are using the way [voice] works on Xbox 360, which was an accessory we built five years after release, as how it's going to work here," he told us. "But it's so much more elegant and so much more integrated, and in many ways it's a lot faster and more convenient. Whereas on Xbox 360 it's a lesser version of doing the thing you're used to doing on your controller.

"This is the part of the internet that's frustrating, because everybody wants to assume there's a [units volume] issue. And yet I'm showing real hardware here at Gamescom - a real, final, retail kit. Which I have yet to see my friends show me.

"People assume there's a volume issue which in fact there isn't. You're actually seeing pre-orders pop back up now because we're able allocate the countries' volumes back in. It's there, the problem is localisation. And once people see the system and how integral it is, it's not just text integration."

"But at the same time we said, this is a region-free console," he added. "In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console. It'll work fine. They can log in to their marketplace, use their language, we don't geo-fence Live or any of the content any more. We don't have official language support - but the console still works."


It's claimed that Xbox One will release on 8th November in the US - a few days ahead of (cough) a notable rival console whose name eludes us at present. Are you among the day-one buyers? And what do you think of Penello's point about localisation? Fire up our Xbox One guide for more on the new Kinect sensor, which is capable of tracking and identifying up to six people simultaneously.