Sunday, 10 Dec 2023

Xbox Series X Thanksgiving release date retracted by Microsoft

Microsoft has insisted that its websites claiming a late November release date for the next gen Xbox Series X console are ‘inaccurate’.

Now that both Sony and Microsoft have released the technical specifications of their new consoles we can hopefully get on to the interesting stuff, like finding out when they’re actually out and seeing the games – but not quite yet, apparently.

Last night many of Microsoft’s international website quoted a ‘Thanksgiving 2020’ release date for the Xbox Series X, rather than the more general ‘Holiday 2020’.

But Microsoft has quickly changed that back, saying that the implied Thanksgiving release date is ‘inaccurate’. Even though they’re almost the same thing.

In other words, Thanksgiving and Holiday are so similar, in the sense of giving a vague idea of a release date, that it seems very strange to go to the trouble of distinguishing between the two.

Thanksgiving this year lands on 26 November (a Thursday) and both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One were released on 22 November (Sunday this year).

The simplest explanation for all this is that Microsoft’s marketing team are just being pedantic, but if the Xbox Series X isn’t coming out on Thanksgiving, or sometime very close to it, the obvious question is when is it being released?

All of this suggests it isn’t any earlier than 26 November, but as late as December is unheard of for new consoles and seems a bit late for getting the hype up to full speed.

Or perhaps Microsoft isn’t worried about that because there won’t, as some have predicted, be much stock around and so they’re guaranteed to sell it all anyway.

It could also be that they’re worried that if they say a date now they’ll give some imagined advantage to Sony, who tend to release their new consoles in late October or early November.

The other obvious guess is that the Xbox Series X will be delayed until next year, but Microsoft has repeatedly emphasised that it will be out Holiday 2020 – even if it won’t be any more specific than that.

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