The lights are on
There has been speculation that the significant drop in Xbox One launch territories is the result of supply chain issues. Microsoft head of product development Albert Panello is trying to put that to rest, offering an explanation for the console appearing in only 13 of the original 21 territories anticipated for launch this year.
In a conversation with OXM, Panello states that the localization is the culprit. Given the Xbox One's emphasis on voice control via the Kinect, additional care is required to ensure that it's ready for different languages and dialects.
The Xbox One is a region-free console, though. This means the consoles can be imported and used freely with any of the languages supported at launch this November (a specific date has not yet been revealed).
Our TakeIn my house, the Kinect is used for only one thing: telling Netflix to pause and start. The new Kinect that is tied into the Xbox One architecture is, in part, designed to further enhance the experience of using your voice to control the console.
Without proper localization, this selling feature falls flat. In other words, Microsoft can't put hardware in countries where the Kinect doesn't work. Panello's statement about the drop in launch territories from 21 to 13 might very well be true, but it's hard to deny that the side effect of reinforced supply in those remaining countries hasn't made a big difference for Microsoft.