Xbox One services outside the US
I watched the Xbox One reveal with a lot of interest since I was curious to see how they would innovate. To be honest, almost nothing they've shown (aside some games) are interesting to me, a Belgian, speaking Dutch and living in Belgium.
For starters, TV integration
I have a cable subscription and a cable box, but I highly doubt Microsoft is going to make sure the whole thing integrates well with all TV subscription services all over Europe (and the rest of the world). Maybe later, but it sure as hell won't be at introduction. It took Microsoft ages to make something as simple as the Windows Phone Store available all over the world too, our Bing is still completely useless and the Windows Store (in 8) only shows a fraction of the apps available in the rest of the world. Not exactly a good track record.
Are they ever going to make all of that available in any language other than English? Maybe French and two or three other popular languages, but we'll have to wait ages before it's available and chances are it'll never work in Dutch. We'll be stuck using the controllers then, which is fine. But then you have a whole interface (or no interface at all) designed for voice interaction while you need to wrestle your way through it with a controller. Sounds a bit like using Windows 8 on a PC without a touchscreen.
What about the PS4?
Will all of this be any better on the PS4? We can't tell yet, but I think it will be. Sony in general makes sure everything is available worldwide as soon as possible. Everything is multilingual and very few things are limited to a few countries. Especially in Europe you can usually use all Sony services right when they're launched. And they make sure that their most important features are things that can be used all over the world (like performance).
So, what's going to happen when both consoles are launched? Personally, I expect the Xbox One to become the most popular console in the US (and maybe Canada), while Sony will probably rule Europe, Japan and the rest of the world, much like it's been with the PS3 (which outsold the Xbox 360 by a large margin in Japan and a decent amount in Europe). It'll depend on E3, but I'm pretty sure that the PS4 will be the most interesting choice for us in Europe.
What do you think?
How will the Xbox One services work outside of the US? Do you expect Microsoft to have all of it ready for countries other than the US within a reasonable timeframe? Tell me your opinion!