While internet news sources today have reported that Microsoft is readying to launch its next generation Xbox hardware in America and Europe in the fourth quarter of this year, Eurogamer has learnt that the specific timing for the machine's roll-out is late October or early November, and merely weeks after the US launch. The exact date is yet to be solidified.
Speaking under conditions of strict anonymity, senior American and British development, publishing and retail sources have confirmed the launch window in the past weeks.
It is also now widely known among British sources that Microsoft UK is currently in the planning stages of a spectacular and unprecedented launch event in central London for the winter release.
While it has been accepted for some time that Xbox 2, currently codenamed Xenon, would be released in America before the end of the year, the news of a late October/early November launch in both the UK and Europe will send shockwaves through the industry and gaming community on this side of the Atlantic.
Many have expressed concern that Microsoft is forcing the next generation of console hardware too early, and that the current generation still has much to achieve. The most famous example of this came from then Nintendo of Europe MD David Gosen speaking at an ELSPA summit in London last October, where he lambasted Microsoft for pushing a next generation machine to market in 2005, and even went so far as to question Microsoft's motivation as profit.
News source: EuroGamer