Xbox One Launch Delays Not Caused By Supply Shortage, Microsoft Says

Xbox One Launch Delays Not Caused By Supply Shortage, Microsoft Says

Xbox One

Microsoft's Alberto Penello says localization issues, and not supply problems, are behind the delay of the Xbox One launch in several territories.

The Xbox One was originally slated for launch in 21 countries, a surprisingly small number for what will presumably be the biggest console in Microsoft's history. Yet earlier this month, that number was pared down even further, to just 13 countries, leaving out Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland - small markets individually but collectively significant. Microsoft said at the time that there were many factors behind the delay, but Penello, the head of product development, insists that a supply shortage isn't among them.

Penello said there's a widely-held assumption that Kinect on the Xbox One is essentially the same as on the Xbox 360, when in fact it's "so much more elegant and so much more integrated, and in many ways it's a lot faster and more convenient." But because of that, the system requires more localization in order to work effectively, which is the key reason for the delay.

"This is the part of the internet that's frustrating, because everybody wants to assume there's a [units volume] issue. And yet I'm showing real hardware here at Gamescom - a real, final, retail kit. Which I have yet to see my friends show me," he told OXM.

"People assume there's a volume issue which in fact there isn't. You're actually seeing pre-orders pop back up now because we're able allocate the countries' volumes back in. It's there, the problem is localization," he continued. "And once people see the system and how integral it is, it's not just text integration."

While the Xbox One launch has been delayed in several countries, Penello noted that it's not actually region locked, so people can snag one from a non-delayed nation as long as they're comfortable with its native language. "In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console," he explained. "It'll work fine."

Source: OXM

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This is to be expected. Microsoft wasn't originally planning to be available in those regions so now they are rushing to get the job done after their 180 festival.

You know what. I don't think anyone thought it was due to shortages. I mean be honest. Did any reading this thought it must be due to demands?

Microsoft's probably telling the truth, this time.

I'd imagine it's bugger to get Kinect to recognize every accent and every language across a single country, let alone 20.

In the UK if you put a guy from south England, middle England, north England, Wales, Scotland, northern Ireland and southern Ireland all in the same room (and could stop them from killing each other) and had them all try and talk to the same Kinect it would probably explode from confusion.

And that's not to mention that south England/middle England/north England is a way over generation there are about 5-10 different accents within each of these too.

"OK, I just want to make this clear... the delays are NOT because so many people want the console... there are NOT more people wanting it than we can supply."

Might have been better to say supply wasn't up to it dude...

Yeah, not all that surprising. From a technical standpoint, speech must be an absolute bastard to work with. There's all the different languages first and foremost, and then there's the added difficulty of accents as well.

GAunderrated:
This is to be expected. Microsoft wasn't originally planning to be available in those regions so now they are rushing to get the job done after their 180 festival.

Umm, I'm pretty sure half of Europe was part of their "original" concept. They've just had some kind of scheduling hiccup.

Andy Chalk:
"This is the part of the internet that's frustrating, because everybody wants to assume there's a [units volume] issue. And yet I'm showing real hardware here at Gamescom - a real, final, retail kit. Which I have yet to see my friends show me," he told OXM.

Can someone explain this bit to me? What does he mean, 'I have yet to see my friends show me?' Does he mean the info itself? As in: no one on the internet is reporting that he's showing a final retail kit at Gamescom, and he's frustrated that the news stories his friends show him have nothing to do with that? I'm rather perplexed as to why I should give a damn what his friends are showing him. What does that have to do with anything?

OT: He misunderstands, at least as far as I'm concerned. There is a huge, undeniable, inexcusable unit shortage already, and the thing hasn't even launched yet. It's caused by the fact that you're only planning on launching in twelve goddamn countries. Yeah, someone from outside one of those countries could import it, but what are the chances that they'll be able to get one before the console launches in their home country? You're greatly restricting the market, and a unit shortage is inherit with that.

There's no excuse for the limited launch, except for the fact that the incredibly stupid decisions that they designed the console with before backpedaling after E3 have restricted where you can launch it. If you had done this thing properly, the localization would be done by now. The PlayStation 4, you'll notice, is launching in almost three times as many countries (I think. It was 33, wasn't it...?) and what did it not have? Oh, yeah: backlash against really stupid policies. You've dug the hole for yourself, Microsoft, so I don't care why the delay exists, only that it shouldn't.

"It's not that we can't supply the console in that region it's that the Kinect 2.0 doesn't work due to localization issues.

Xbox better with Kinect."

This, and many other problems would be solved if Microsoft never came up with the idea of the Kinect 2.0. I think it's going to lose them the console battle, if not the war.

The Kinect being responsible for a delay across half of Europe is going to do very little to help its already low reputation. Microsoft is only providing us with yet another reason why the mandatory Kinect was a dumb idea.

...the problem is localization."

"In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console," he explained. "It'll work fine."

Even if the Swiss speak very distinct dialects (they do) you're releasing in Germany and France (And I assume Italy, but I'm not 100% certain) so what's your excuse? Surely in your localization for Germany you have enough combined phonetic data that the program can handle a little Swiss German without being totally confused.

"While the Xbox One launch has been delayed in several countries, Penello noted that it's not actually region locked, so people can snag one from a non-delayed nation as long as they're comfortable with its native language. "In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console," he explained. "It'll work fine.""
Soooo what im getting from this is its not an option to change the consles language in the options. Which is kinda a soft region lock for the non multi language user.

Microsoft, you could have said it was supply shortages, because you may have given the impression it was due to amazing pre-order numbers. Just a little thing to try and rally the troops.

Delays should be expected when you have to go back and retrofit all the 'features' out of your consoles.

A units issue is better than a systemic issue. So I'm unsure how they think the real reason is better.

Griffolion:
Microsoft, you could have said it was supply shortages, because you may have given the impression it was due to amazing pre-order numbers. Just a little thing to try and rally the troops.

I was gonna say this.

I'm starting to seriously worry about Microsoft right now, it's almost seeming like they're trying to run the Xbox One into the ground as fast as they can.

Not that I hate the Xbox One, I'm sure it'll someday be a good console, but it just seems like Microsoft has made it their sacred duty to make it fail. Like, they're following some "What Not To Do" guide word for word.

We know it isn't supply shortages Microsoft; no one wants the bloody thing.

They've been working on this thing for about two years and they didn't smooth out the wrinkles in half their localizations? That is just sad.

Oh Microsoft, I do love to see your "Ve Must Haft Kinect Built-In!" mantra biting you in the arse.

Its delicious, please, do go on struggling - I've got plenty more popcorn.

It's a little disturbing that they put a huge amount of work into building that god awful DRM system, but that localising a device that's supposedly "essential" for the thing to work as intended was put on the back burner. It shows a contempt for non-Americans even Apple aren't ballsey enough to show.

And hands up anybody who seriously believes that Kinect is going to work well enough for it to be used by more than... ..hum. I'll be generous, 10% of the Xbones owners sound fair?

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, not all that surprising. From a technical standpoint, speech must be an absolute bastard to work with. There's all the different languages first and foremost, and then there's the added difficulty of accents as well.

hell, Siri can barely understand the Australian accent, so I dont think the Kinect will fair any better.

Just imagine the explosion when a kinect has Russian, Ukranian, Serbian, Polish, and Chechnyain speakers in the same room.

we might have a substitute for conventional bombs.....

Hmm. While I can't imagine there being supply shortages of the XBone I similarly can't see them having ever put any effort into making Kinect work as opposed to marketing it.

EquiusZahhak:
word for word.

Was that pun intended?

Otherwise, I agree. XB1 is by no means bad now that the crap has been taken off it. But MS just seem to be utterly clueless.

Yeah, not selling the consoles in all of those countries is a bit of a flaw isn't it? I mean, I'm not sure how big the gaming communities are in those countries, but I imagine it would be possible for you to get one or two million sales out of each. If you put all of them together, thats 8-16 million sales you just handed to Sony on a silver platter. Maybe even more!

Seriously, is the Kinetic really fucking worth it?

shirkbot:

...the problem is localization."

"In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console," he explained. "It'll work fine."

Even if the Swiss speak very distinct dialects (they do) you're releasing in Germany and France (And I assume Italy, but I'm not 100% certain) so what's your excuse? Surely in your localization for Germany you have enough combined phonetic data that the program can handle a little Swiss German without being totally confused.

I recall some kind of an announcement that the kinect would be far less accident prone when it came to understanding when a person is giving a verbal command and when people are just talking within the kinect's earshot. I imagine localization becomes very important if they want to prove that kinect 2.0 is a quality piece of equipment. If the console comes out and entire countries are having kinect audio response problems... Well, I don't think Microsoft wants to be known as the most expensive console due to a mandatory(As in all X1s being sold come with it) peripheral that doesn't even work. My theory is that they believe the bad publicity of poor localization affecting the consoles core functions is worse than not releasing the console in those areas until they are confident it will work as advertised.

Not to say that won't happen anyway, but Microsoft will want as little truth to that accusation as possible.

luvd1:
You know what. I don't think anyone thought it was due to shortages. I mean be honest. Did any reading this thought it must be due to demands?

What makes this more funny, besides the fact this guy seems to think not selling out of stock is a good thing, where as this has only 13 countries to sell to it's still not sold out, yet PS4 at 33 markets has sold out just about everywhere and Sony cannot keep up with demand. Kinda says something about which system has started this generation at full steam and will get the most and best games in the long run.

Its not a supply shortage due to demand, its supply shortage due to their failing processor prototype.
As for localization, fuck localization. if i ever were to get one the first thing i would do is set it to english so it would not confuse my lithuanian as commands. and i would never want to speak to computer in anything else but english anyway. all the "localized" games i always set to english. and that damn youtube keeps resetting its localization. no i dont want your localization you stupid.

 

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