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Xbox One won't hit Asia until late 2014, Japanese release confirmed

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Xbox E3 stock
Xbox E3 stock

Microsoft revealed its Xbox One launch pricing this week at E3, with the company planning to release its next-gen console in November for $499. Twenty-one markets were revealed, including the UK and parts of Europe, but the company remained quiet about its exact plans in other regions. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is delaying its Xbox One launch in Asia until late 2014, a full year after the console debuts in the US.

A staged approach with limited markets

Alan Bowman, Microsoft’s regional vice president for sales and marketing in Asia, says the move is part of a "staged approach" for the Xbox One, noting the company is planning to offer localised content once the console is available. The WSJ claims Microsoft is only planning to offer the Xbox One in select Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and India. Notably, Japan is missing from that list, a market that the Xbox 360 has struggled in traditionally.

The Asian delay may be related to Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor. Although the new Kinect has been improved to work in smaller room sizes, with a wide angle lens, Bowman admits that Microsoft listened to customer feedback that "not everyone in Asia has living rooms." Although there's no mention of Japan, Bowman says Microsoft has "deepened" its relationship with Japanese publishers, claiming it's "absolutely key to our business." We have reached out to Microsoft for comment on the Asian delay and the Xbox One situation in Japan, and we'll update you accordingly.

Update: Microsoft is refusing to comment on specifics. "In the coming year Xbox One will continue to roll out around the world. Stay tuned for details about future markets and timings," says a Microsoft spokesperson.

Update 2: A Microsoft spokesperson told Famitsu that the company does plan to release the Xbox One in Japan eventually. No details were given for now, but Microsoft will hold an event in Japan at an "appropriate time" to reveal more information about the launch.