Back in August of 2013, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One entertainment console would launch in 13 countries, rather than the initially promised 21 countries. Microsoft had initially defended this move and explained that the Kinect voice localization needed further work.
Today, in an interview with the official Xbox Magazine, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer admitted that “it never feels good” to mention a 21 market launch, only to launch in 13 markets. But Spencer believes it was necessary to ensure a quality product, worldwide. Here is what he had to say.
“I wish we had the global coverage that we originally announced when we stood on stage at E3. I stood on stage and talked about 21 markets.. there were things around the voice models and other things we needed to make sure were right in order to really build a box that felt native to the markets we were shipping in. It never feels good to stand on stage and talk about 21 markets and ship in 13, but it’s a journey, and it’s not won or lost the day after launch. It will be something that plays out, so making sure the quality of each market when we ship is the important part.”
On the other hand, Spencer was happy to see such an impressive lineup of games for the Xbox One – something the Xbox 360 struggled with a little during its launch. “The launch of the 360, we were struggling to get Perfect Dark [Zero] done in time – I think it showed some of that struggle. We didn’t have that exclusive lineup we have today. The game line-up that we have – I don’t want to say it’s a great surprise, but it’s nice to see it land the way it did,” he added.
The 13 launch markets included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.
In a related note, Microsoft announced today that they have sold over three million Xbox One units since the consoles launch back in November 2013. Quite impressive!