The Xbox One is pretty much sold out in the U.S. If you pre-order one now, you're not guaranteed a unit at launch. For gamers in eight countries, it no longer matters how early they put in a pre-order as the console's launch has been delayed.
Microsoft announced today that its initial plan to launch the Xbox One in 21 countries this year has been scaled back somewhat. The console will now launch in 13 countries this year. Those countries are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.
The other eight countries - Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland - will get the Xbox One in 2014. Microsoft hasn't committed to a date just yet, but they say that the above countries will get it "as soon as possible."
So, why the delay? Microsoft said that they had to scale things back to "meet demand." That's not surprising in the least bit as the Xbox One has sold out at various retailers, and a rumor from earlier today said that Microsoft is only going to have 7 to 9 million units available at launch. That's an extraordinarily high number for a console launch, but you have to remember that there's a lot of pent up demand for new consoles. Microsoft has to service its core markets first before it can start pushing out hardware to other markets.
Of course, Microsoft isn't going to just delay the console for hundreds of thousands of gamers and expect them to take it lying down. The company said that those who pre-ordered an Xbox One in the affected countries will find a free game packed in when the console ships in those countries early next year.