The Xbox One is scheduled to launch on Nov. 22, but apparently a few lucky buyers have received their preordered consoles early. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) blamed it on a shipping error by a retail partner, believed to be Target Corp. (TGT).
Or maybe those who their hands on the new console were not so lucky. According to Larry Hyrb of Xbox Live:
We're pleased to see the initial response to Xbox One has been so positive, but given we are still putting the finishing touches on our games, UI and online services, as well as confidential partner and media agreements, these consoles units will be restricted from connecting to Xbox Live until closer to our launch date.
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One user is reported to have tried to cash in on the shipping error by placing his Xbox One for sale on eBay for an asking price of $9.995. But the user later pulled the auction when it became clear that the console would be of little use until the launch date.
Meanwhile, the Sony Corp. (SNE) PlayStation 4 is set to launch in the United States in a couple of days. Both of the gaming platforms are hotly anticipated and should be huge holiday sellers. And the new platforms are timed perfectly for the top video game companies that are releasing new product for the fall and the holiday shopping season. Popular game titles like Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag from Ubisoft and Madden NFL 25 from Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) will be available for the Xbox One.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to sales of both the Xbox One and the PS4 is the sheer amount of gaming that has moved online to tablets and smartphones. The gaming industry will be watching how well the new consoles do when they launch. But Microsoft and Sony remain confident. "There are people who would never envision playing a game in years past who have now gotten into it because of smartphones and tablets," said Jack Tretton of Sony's U.S. games unit.
We may know soon whether the glory days of the gaming console are a thing of the past.