One month before launch, there are still things we don't know about the Xbox One

Microsoft may be promoting the official launch of its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets today, but exactly one month from now the company's biggest product launch of 2013 gets underway. The release of the Xbox One will happen in 13 markets around the world on November 22nd. Unlike the rather tepid initial response to the new Surface tablets, Microsoft's third game console is expected to generate a ton of interest from both hardcore gamers as well as people who see the Xbox One as the company's biggest play yet to put its products and services in the living room.

Yet there are still some questions we have about the Xbox One that, so far, Microsoft has not answered even at this late date. Here are just a few of the things we want to know but have yet to get any clear answers.

Will North American Xbox One buyers get a free downloadable game like FIFA 14 or Forza Motorsport 5?

In August, Microsoft surprised everyone when it announced that pre-orders for the Xbox One in Europe would get a free downloadable game. It wasn't just any game either; it was FIFA 14 from Electronic Arts, which is arguably the most popular game franchise in that part of the world. Some UK stores offered Microsoft's own Forza Motorsport 5 as an alternate free game for Xbox One pre-orders, and even Australia and New Zealand can pre-order the console with FIFA 14.

However, Microsoft has constantly dodged questions about if people in the U.S. and Canada who pre-order the Xbox One will be able to get a equivalent free download game. Indeed, we have yet to get an answer on our end from Microsoft on that question despite our own inquiries. With just one month to go before the launch, Microsoft should make it clear that North American Xbox One pre-orders will either get a free game or if they will have to purchase a $499.99 console without that kind of freebie.

What third party apps will be on the Xbox One's dashboard?

Microsoft has been keeping what the Xbox One's dashboard looks like in action to itself for the most part, with only a few screenshots released and the company showing how the UI runs only to reporters behind closed doors. As a result, we don't know exactly what kind of non-gaming apps will be made available for the console's launch in a month.

Screenshots have shown that Netflix will (maybe) be included with the Xbox One, and Machinima recently announced their own app for the console. Twitch.tv has revealed it will also support the Xbox One but there's no word if that support will be ready for launch. More recently, reports that the console would be able to run all Windows 8 apps were partially, but not totally, refuted by Microsoft. All in all, the app ecosystem for the Xbox One is still something of a mystery. We are sure Microsoft will reveal lots more about that aspect of the console before November 22nd.

How many consoles will be shipped to retail stores to go on sale November 22nd?

This is a question that Microsoft will likely not answer, at least not until the first sales figures for the Xbox One are released a few days after the launch. However, Microsoft claims that it wants people to have a chance to walk into their favorite retail store and find an Xbox One ready for purchase on launch day. In a recent interview, Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer stated, "There might be a line, but I don't want it to be that if you didn't pre-order in September, you can't get one. That doesn't feel like a great consumer experience."

That would seem to suggest that Microsoft has a lot of Xbox One units already made or in production that, in theory, will lead to more consoles going on sale November 22nd than the Xbox 360 did during its launch nearly eight years ago. Let's hope that's the case, because we don't think any amount will be able to keep up with demand.

Images via Microsoft

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I'd just like to see some game footage. I can't remember a launch in the last 15 years where there was so little game footage this close to launch. Its as if there isn't a single system in existence. Kind of makes me wonder whether they are hidding the fact that the game on PS4 will perform better if not look better.

Great try but if they are not hidding anything, then act like it.

Long shot, but I don't suppose anyone with a Forza 5 code would want to swap it for FIFA 14. Can't stand that game but that's all I was given

I would like to know more about the TV features outside America. I think it would be great if the console could receive free to air channels in the UK, even if its with some add on tuner like the PS3 got.

InsaneNutter said,
I would like to know more about the TV features outside America. I think it would be great if the console could receive free to air channels in the UK, even if its with some add on tuner like the PS3 got.

It has an HDMI input so anything that outputs HDMI will work.

Josh_LosAltosHills said,
I know MS doesn't visit this site but sell it w/o Kinect and its a day 1 buy for me

New here or don't pay much attention?

There's a few MS employees who are regular users here and they've also done Q&A sessions here I believe.

Spicoli said,
You have the same chance of them selling it without Kinect as selling it without the hand controller. It's standard equipment any game can use.

At least at launch, but I bet you'll see an SKU without it at some point in the future.

DARKFiB3R said,

At least at launch, but I bet you'll see an SKU without it at some point in the future.

No, I suspect not. I've yet to see a boxed Xbox 360 without a controller, optical drive, or other standard parts. They've already committed to developers that the Kinect is a standard part. I think they learned from the HD-DVD that non-standard parts almost always fail.

I want 3rd party apps to be available but not pre-loaded. There is something about loading the crap on myself that appeals to me. Yes I want Netflix, Hulu Plus, etch available in the app store. But I prefer to go and download the apps myself.

techbeck said,
Got in late on the first batch of preorders. Got my delivery date on Amazon at Jan 2nd.
Wow! I'm sure you'll be able to pick one up locally before that date.

Going to keep checking. If I can find where to preorder for sooner, I can always cancel amazon. Amazon doesnt remove $$$ until available so no big deal.

vcfan said,

doubt it. a confirmed programmer on the xbox one team said every console manufactured already and up to launch is already accounted for,and he doesn't know how they are even going to get consoles on store shelves.

http://attackofthefanboy.com/n...x-launch-console-accounted/

The scalpers will be pleased by this news. Alot of people who already secured an X1 plan to sell it at over inflated prices on eBay and such. If they are really going to be hard to come by, I can already picture them going for ludicrous amounts of money on eBay...

Personally I have no interest in getting a launch X1 or PS4, got burnt last gen. Plan to let the dust settle and any problems sorted out before making the jump. My X360, PS3 & PC will keep me more then occupied for that time.

Irrelevent.

Ask yourself how much we really know about the ps4, you might get more then just a "how many units are they shipping?" lol.

auziez said,
Irrelevent.

Ask yourself how much we really know about the ps4, you might get more then just a "how many units are they shipping?" lol.

I honestly cant wait to get my day one unit :3

Spicoli said,
We know it has a really sad user interface and basically no new features over a PS3.
Better than the xbone's UI

Spicoli said,
We know it has a really sad user interface and basically no new features over a PS3.

Also PS3 games are streamed as the system can't emulate them properly. Think OnLive for that. Same technology.

Spicoli said,
We know it has a really sad user interface and basically no new features over a PS3.

We? Can you not speak for others here?

I suppose you own a PS4 and know everything about it right? You post on almost every single front page topic as if you're the expert on whatever the subject is and it's getting old.

NightmarE D said,

We? Can you not speak for others here?

I suppose you own a PS4 and know everything about it right? You post on almost every single front page topic as if you're the expert on whatever the subject is and it's getting old.

Yes, we all know facts. That's not speaking for someone else. The drop back to the personal attack just tells me you know those facts but just want to dodge the subject.

dead.cell said,
If you think the PS4 is just a faster PS3, then obviously you don't know all the facts. It goes both ways sir.

Well, explain the facts then. What's different other than a faster version of the PS3?

I've very confident North American users will not be getting a free download simply because they would be promoting that like crazy if we were.

My biggest question still is "does the new Kinect have the same base as the old Kinect?" I've got a nice wall mount but will it work with the new system? Every time you see a picture of the new Kinect, it seems to be floating the in the air with no base.

Hell, I want to know what's inside the box. They've talked about balance, and we've all been told that the XB1<PS4 in terms of raw power or something, so I want to know what precisely they've put inside...

(Even though in the end I don't really care about the specs - I care about the games )

1. No, the reason they're giving away games for the European market because of the delay .

2. We'll know more just before it starts shipping

3. Question doesn't make any sense.

You mean the delay to markets outside of the 13? So why give the free game to those EUR nations that are part of the 13? No, I think it's because Sony has been historically stronger in those countries and they're giving an added incentive to give the X1 a chance.

kinpin said,
1. No, the reason they're giving away games for the European market because of the delay .

2. We'll know more just before it starts shipping

3. Question doesn't make any sense.


No. The reason for the free game is because they're getting absolutely panned by the ps4. Expect a price drop pretty sharpish too.

Here in sweden the talk is that we are going to get 2 free games for those who preordered, one for the "european" edition(not fifa but something else) and one for the delay. We also got some credits in the microsoft store.

Darth Tigris said,
You mean the delay to markets outside of the 13? So why give the free game to those EUR nations that are part of the 13? No, I think it's because Sony has been historically stronger in those countries and they're giving an added incentive to give the X1 a chance.

Based on what market research?

incendy said,
I need NBA GameTime, HBOGO, Amazon Instant, Netflix and Hulu or I will be very upset!

well if the compatibility with windows 8 is so very close, as it is assumed and rumored, we can expect many of these core apps to be ready for launch.

I haven't played a sports game since NHL on the Sega Genesis. Bundling Fifa in was quite a bold move and a smart one to encourage sales of system units. Maybe just maybe they'll do this with the NFL since our kind of "Football" is popular around these United States.

I'd definitely like to get Madden 25 on the Xbox One for free. That would be an awesome freebie. Granted, my gut feeling is the reason they haven't said anything about it is because the answer to the question is no.