Why Microsoft is delaying the XBox one

Bad designs are harder to make than good ones

XBox One LogoMicrosoft is delaying the launch of the XBox One for most of the world by up to a year and the reasons for it are obvious. In fact SemiAccurate told you that it was likely to happen, why it was likely, and the reasons Microsoft chose their current course even knowing this eventuality.

As Leo Yim wrote up a few days ago, the XBox One (XBO) is coming to the Americas and some of Western Europe in November, and this was supposed to be the date for the rest of the world too. Very recently that plan changed with some of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries, and Japan all coming at some nebulous date in 2014. The rest of Asia doesn’t get the XBO until ‘Holiday’ 2014, effectively a year after the first priority countries.

There are two reasons that Microsoft would delay things like they just did, sky-high demand that they are unable to meet or technical problems. Every bit of data by market watchers, analysts, and other pundits all point to demand being tepid because of Microsoft’s stunning missteps and subsequent half-hearted backpedaling. Sony and their PS4 have unsurprisingly not seen the same tepid demand, all reports point to blockbuster pre-orders for their console. Demand for next-gen gaming consoles is very high and gamers are smart enough to know that one is a gaming console and the other is not.

If high demand isn’t causing the delay, could the culprit be a technical problem? That would seem quite likely especially since SemiAccurate has been chronicling the woes of the XBO silicon since long before it went in to production. We did get the name confused with another stillborn XBox 360 part but the dates for tapeout and production start were correct for the XBO silicon. More to the point we also told you about the potential production pitfalls and their ramifications almost a year ago. One thing most people don’t understand is that the choices Microsoft made doomed their ability to yield XBO silicon in volume just like we told you months ago. Lets go over this in detail now that the results are clear.

Note: The following is for professional and student level subscribers.

Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate