The UK release date for Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One may have been leaked by a supplier, which could also provide clues as to when both next-gen consoles will arrive in the U.S.
BT Games originally said the Xbox One would be released on Nov. 29, while the PS4 would hit the market on Dec. 13, citing "a spokesperson from Toys R Us" as its source. The article was also picked up by IGN, an entertainment website that focuses on reviewing video games, films, music and other media.
BT Games later updated its earlier story, indicating that Toys 'R' Us contacted them to clarify that the PS4 and Xbox One release dates aren't yet official. It isn't clear if this was a smokescreen and/or damage control on the part of Toys 'R' Us.
In a statement, Microsoft said, "We have announced that Xbox One will launch this November, but have not shared any further details. It’s common practice for retailers to use placeholder dates for pre-order items without an official launch date. Please stay tuned to news.xbox.com, where we share the latest official details about all things Xbox One."
As for Sony, it said, "We haven't made any announcements other than coming this holiday season."
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While the Nov. 29 Xbox One release date seems believable, considering that it reflects Microsoft's announced November 2013 release date, Nov. 29 seems a little late in the holiday shopping season for such a highly anticipated launch. Same for the purported Dec. 13 PS4 release date, which would put the PS4 in stores less than two weeks before Christmas.
Considering that there will likely be a frenzied, mad dash for both the PS4 and the Xbox One, launching the PS4 12 days from Christmas and the Xbox One less than a month from Christmas seems a bit far-fetched and poorly timed from a strategic standpoint.
If history is any indication, the PS4 and the Xbox One will be released significantly before the above dates. For example, the Xbox 360 was released on Nov. 22, 2005 -- three days before Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Meanwhile, the PS3 launched in Japan on Nov. 11, 2006 and in the U.S. on Nov. 17, 2006 -- a full week before that year's Black Friday. It would behoove both Sony and Microsoft to give consumers as much time as possible to grab a PS4 and/or an Xbox 360 to stuff under their Christmas trees, which we're betting they will, based on the release dates of the previous generation of consoles.
What do you think of the supposed leaked release dates for the PS4 and Xbox One above? Do you think they're accurate? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below.