Microsoft executives set Japanese launch date to February 22, and moved back the European launch to an unspecified date next Spring. The company acknowledged that missing the Christmas season will affect Xbox profits, at least in the short run. The news hits game publishers hard, who will now miss out on overseas sales of Xbox titles during the Christmas season.
"We want to succeed first in the United Sates and ride on that wave in Japan," said Hirohisa Ohura, the Managing Director of Microsoft's Japan unit.
Despite last week's rumors of an Xbox motherboard problem, Microsoft spokeswoman Shoreen Maghame said that the shifting launch date was not due to manufacturing problems.