Microsoft has confirmed the happy news that its new Xbox One console will not be released in Japan or the rest of the lucky “tier 2” world in 2013, asking only that this fantastic announcement not be reported “too negatively.”
Though for some reason Microsoft Japan avoided mentioning the matter of the Xbox One’s Japanese release in its fiscal 2014 press conference, when interviewed directly their CEO did confirm what all Microsoft’s other announcements curiously neglected to mention – and to avoid ruining all the suspense they also masterfully declined to provide any firm date:
Well, for Japan the Xbox will be Tier 2 rather than Tier 1, so it will be part of the second wave of launches, and delayed a little from the North American launch.
The Xbox One is really planned as being based on a North American lifestyle, so whether it will be launched like that in Japan is a matter for further consideration.
With all the music and video entertainment services, Microsoft as a whole has to establish what to prioritise for each country. Honestly, we couldn’t really just release it as is in Japan.
It’s being billed as both a device and a service. I can’t help but think it would not be possible for Microsoft Japan to establish a content delivery system for everything from games to music and video, both technically and in terms of scale?
Well, the rights, you know – especially music, really…
What about releasing it without music? Personally I see MS Japan having more luck with video than music…
We’ll have to see how things go in the US proper.
[Similar “it depends on the US” answers follow]
So you’re saying it all depends on how things pan out for MS in the North American market?
So, Japan’s launch is Tier 2. Tier 1 is November, so there is no chance of a 2013 release in Japan?
Right. It’ll be some time after.
How long will those who want to play it have to wait then?
It won’t be delayed from the US that much.
Will this delay be measured in years?
No way! But we’re still in planning.
The interview concludes with MS entreating them “to please not write too negatively about today’s press conference” – although why they thought the Japanese or other Tier 2s would respond negatively to such happy news is far from clear.