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Microsoft addresses early Xbox One shipments, blames ‘retail partner system issue’

Microsoft addresses early Xbox One shipments, blames 'retail partner system issue'

It a story that has been simmering all day — a few would-be customers who pre-ordered the Xbox One, Microsoft’s next generation console, received an early Christmas present, ah…Thanksgiving present? Late Halloween treat? No matter how you slice it, the consoles arrived on doorsteps two weeks ahead of schedule — ahead of even review units (trust me, I know). It’s a rather large slip for a release that has been carefully orchestrated, with a steady-stream of information being pushed to the public to keep appetites whetted.

Nonetheless, those leaks have become high-profile news, with images and stories appearing on various sites around the web. It’s the last thing any company wants — it’s the iPhone left in a bar type of fiasco. Rather sending police to arrest tech editors for running stories about the device, Microsoft has elected to meet the embarrassment head-on. Instead of keeping quiet, the company, through Xbox Live chief Larry Hryb (AKA Major Nelson), has issued an official statement.

Due to a retail partner’s system issue, a very small number of Xbox One consoles were shipped to consumers before the 11/22 street date.  We’re pleased to see the initial response to Xbox One has been so positive, but given we are still putting the finishing touches on our games, UI and online services, as well as confidential partner and media agreements, these consoles units will be restricted from connecting to Xbox Live until closer to our launch date.

We love [email protected] excited about Xbox One and we can’t wait for him to enjoy it closer to launch”.

So, there you have it. Microsoft lays the blame squarely on a partner, and likely rightfully so, while also letting it be known that these surprise presents are essentially paperweights until the company throws the master switch. That time is growing near though, and there is plenty that can be gleaned in the meantime by studying the hardware. The excitement generated by these stories likely outweighs any misfortune that potentially could have befallen the hapless partner who slipped.

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