It is hardly a secret that the Xbox One is lagging behind its Sony competitor in sales. Although Microsoft’s new flagship console has improved in the market since its launch, with Xbox One Sales doubling in June after dropping the Kinect requirement, it is still sitting in second place by a significant margin. The PS4 was still the top selling console according to June’s sales figures, and according to Sony’s July fiscal report, their console tripled Xbox sales figures in the first quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is trying to turn around its fortunes in the market. Dropping the mandatory Kinect proved a popular move – the standalone unit will go on sale for $149 in October – whilst timed exclusivity for the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider could give the Xbox One a legitimate competitor to Uncharted. There are also a number of tantalizing titles on the horizon, including Halo’s Master Chief Collection.
Something that is bound to help these strategies is the release of the Xbox One in other markets worldwide. Throughout September, Microsoft is releasing the Xbox One in 28 new countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and South America – with more to come. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, revealed the schedule via a post on Xbox.com.
“September is a big month for Xbox,” states Spencer, before continuing to reiterate the importance of the Xbox One’s “incredible holiday lineup.” He also recognizes the wait that these countries have had – after all, the Xbox One initially released in North America and certain European countries in November of last year. “I know that many of you have waited patiently since we first announced Xbox One,” said Spencer. “And it has been very important to both me and the team that we launch with a great experience in your market.”
Here is the full schedule for release:
- September 2: Chile and Colombia
- September 4: Japan
- September 5: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
- September 15: Israel
- September 23: China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan
- September 26: Russia
Xbox fans in Argentina need not fear that they are being left out. According to Spencer, the Xbox One will be hitting their shores soon. “For gamers in Argentina, we’ll have more to share on our plans shortly,” said Spencer. “We can’t wait to see everyone playing on Xbox One very soon.”
With Argentina bringing the total of new countries to 29, this release news is certain to be a big boost to the Xbox One’s global sales. However, it could also be seen as another case of Microsoft playing catch-up. Part of the reason that the PS4 managed to sell over 4.2 million units worldwide by the end of last year was that the Sony console was available in 48 territories worldwide from December onwards. Can the Xbox One have a big impact in those countries where its main competitor has been available for months? We’ll be sure to keep an eye on any further sales figures.