Microsoft this morning announced the long-awaited release date for the Xbox One, saying that the new living room console will be released on Nov. 22.
It’s a symbolically significant date for Microsoft — the Xbox 360 came out on the same date in 2005 — but more notably, it’s one week after the scheduled Nov. 15 release of Sony’s PlayStation 4 in the United States. The Xbox One will sell for $499, compared with $399 for the PS4
“We have sold out of our pre-order supply in the U.S. faster than at any other time in our history and we are on path to have the biggest launch of an Xbox ever,” said Yusuf Mehdi, the Xbox vice president of marketing and strategy, in a post this morning.
Sony has similarly said that the demand for the PS4 has been at “a level we’ve never seen before.”
Both console makers are betting that declines in console sales in recent years are cyclical, and that the market will rebound with the release of their new versions. However, gaming on tablets, smartphones and other devices is creating a new level of competition for traditional living room consoles. And a variety of companies, including giants such as Google and Apple, are competing on entertainment features.
The initial Xbox One release will be in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and the U.S. Microsoft previously delayed the launch of the Xbox One in eight European markets until 2014.
Microsoft has experienced a bumpy road since the initial announcement of the Xbox One — changing course on some of its most controversial Xbox One policies in the face of intense opposition from gamers.
Mehdi said yesterday at the Citi Global Investment Conference that the Xbox One is in full production now, with improved CPU performance.