After weeks of rumor and speculation, the Xbox One has a confirmed release date. And November can now officially be declared the start of the next generation console wars.
As reported in USA Today and other outlets, Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox One will launch on November 22, alongside a lineup of 23 games. The console will not need the newest iteration of the Kinect to operate, but it won’t sell without one either.
Previously, it was rumored that Xbox One could go on sale as early as November 8 to try to position itself in front of its main rival. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is set to make its own debut on November 15, meaning it will have a week-long head start during the busiest shopping season of the year.
The consoles have taken turns leading in consumer sentiment since the beginning of 2012. Sony was criticized for not revealing enough details about the PS4 early on but later lauded for some popular policy decisions concerning sharing games and openness to independent developers. For its part, Microsoft was stung by backlash against reported always-on internet requirements and the mandatory Kinect, but it has since clarified or backed off some of its original positions.
Now it appears decisions between the two game consoles will come down mainly to price and game lineups. Both machines have some launch day exclusives, but the Xbox One will cost $499 to the PS4′s $399—though that Xbox One price includes the bundled Kinect, which sold separately for more than $100 when it was released for Xbox 360.
If anticipation for the new consoles wasn’t high enough already, the nailed down release dates should kick it up another notch. Get ready for a fun November.