For years now, gamers and the media have speculated upon the release dates and before that, the unveilings, of the long-awaited successors to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – consoles that represent the longest and most successful life cycle of gaming consoles. Sony took the first step, announcing the PS4 in February with a “holiday 2013” release date, aiming to not fall behind Microsoft as they did years ago when the PS3 released a full year after its primary competitor.

In May, Microsoft unveiled its own next-gen hardware – the Xbox One – later confirming a slightly more specific launch window of November 2013. At Germany’s Gamescom event in August Sony officially revealed that the PS4 would be hitting store shelves on November 15, 2013, and a rumored leaked document suggested the Xbox One would release one week earlier on November 8, 2013. We now know it’s actually releasing a week after the PS4.

That is, in North America. Europe doesn’t get the PS4 until November 29th, meaning Xbox One (and its Day One bundle for FIFA 14) actually comes out first in the region.

We can thank Pepsi for giving us the more accurate timing info when their Xbox One contest hinted at a “late November” release and this morning, Yusuf Mehdi, Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business for Microsoft’s Xbox division, took to his official blog to confirm that the Xbox One is releasing on November 22, 2013.

“…we’re now in a position to share that Xbox One will be available on November 22, 2013 in all 13 of our initial launch markets — Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA. Many more markets will follow in 2014.

We are humbled and gratified by the tremendous interest in Xbox One from game fans everywhere. We sold out of our pre-order supply faster than at any other time in our history and we are on path to have the biggest launch of an Xbox ever. We look forward to celebrating with millions and millions of gamers this holiday.”

Tech enthusiasts interested in the specific tech specs and console power comparisons will be happy to hear that with the Xbox One release date comes confirmation that it’s going to ship with a faster CPU.

“I am also pleased to confirm that the development team has increased the CPU from 1.6GHZ to 1.75GHZ, roughly a 10 percent increase in CPU performance. This is on top of the 6% increase we previously announced for the GPU.”

What’s most fitting about Microsoft choosing November 22 is the fact that the Xbox 360 released on the very same day back in 2005. It’s an anniversary! Players who’ve yet to pre-order but still want to, should do so now since Microsoft has added a limited number of additional Xbox One Day One consoles for pre-order. You can do so here while supplies last.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes which next-gen console you plan to get!