Xbox One on sale in NZ in November

The Microsoft Xbox One console is on display at the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas, August 28. Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP
The Microsoft Xbox One console is on display at the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas, August 28. Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP

Microsoft's new Xbox One console will go on sale November 22 in 13 launch countries, including New Zealand, the US tech giant said.

The company had previously said the entertainment and gaming console would be available sometime in November.

In June, Microsoft said the launch would be in 21 countries, but last month cut that back to 13, saying the plan had been too ambitious.

"We are humbled and gratified by the tremendous interest in Xbox One from game fans everywhere," said Microsoft vice president Yusuf Mehdi in a blog post.

"We have sold out of our pre-order supply in the US faster than at any other time in our history and we are on path to have the biggest launch of an Xbox ever. We look forward to celebrating with millions and millions of gamers this holiday."

Mehdi said that because of the high demand, Microsoft was adding a "limited number of additional Xbox One Day One consoles for pre-order."

He also said that the processor speed of the device would be increased about 10 per cent to 1.75 gigahertz, on top of the six per cent boost from the earlier version.

"It means that the Xbox One will have that much more power for developers to make their games and entertainment really shine," he added.

The 13 markets to get the Xbox One in November will be Australia, Austria, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United States and New Zealand.

The successor to the Xbox 360 will be available for $499 in the United States, 429 in Britain and 499 euros in Europe.

The beefed-up console is powered by software that allows for instant switching between games, television, and internet browsing. Microsoft-owned Skype was also integrated for online group video calls.

Kinect motion and sound sensing accessories accompanying the consoles recognize users, respond instantly to commands spoken in natural language, and even detect a person's pulse.

Microsoft's new console will compete against Sony's new PlayStation 4, which also promises to combine its film, music, television and games in a home entertainment box. It is due to be released later this year as well.

- AFP

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