Microsoft talks plans to avoid Xbox One 'red ring' problems, cuts launch plans from 21 to 13 countries

If you're an Xbox fan in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden or Switzerland, I have bad news for you. The Xbox One launch in your country has been delayed.

Initially Microsoft planned to launch simultaneously in 21 countries, but that has proven to be overly ambitious. In a post at, the company says that issues of demand, localization, and establishing partnerships with local content providers have all factored into the decision to delay the launch in the aforementioned eight countries.

While no firm date is given, Microsoft is aiming to launch the Xbox One "as soon as possible in 2014" in these countries. If you've already pre-ordered and you're in one of the impacted countries, Microsoft says they're going to sweeten the deal with a pack-in game as a way to thank you for your patience.

Those of us in the remaining thirteen launch countries (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand) can continue to look forward to a November launch, though exactly when in November is still unknown.

Have you decided where you're going to set up your Xbox One yet? You'll probably want it near the cable box since you'll want to pass your TV feed through the console. The rectangular shape of the Xbox One might have you tempted to just set it on top of your stack 'o A/V components...that's what I've been thinking at least.

But what about heat? We know the Xbox 360 had the infamous 'red ring of death' which seemed to be a heat-related failure. Are we going to have to worry about that with the Xbox One?

Apparently not. In a post over at Gizmodo Xbox's General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo explains that the Xbox One is self-regulating. If the box heats up, the fan kicks into high gear to attempt to bring the temperature under control. Nothing too surprising there, right? We see that kind of behavior in PCs and other devices all the time.

But if that's not enough to get the job done, the Xbox One will start using less power. Basically it sounds like it'll sacrifice performance in the name of self-preservation. At the same time you might get a pop-up on screen warning you that the unit is becoming over-heated and to check to be sure none of its cooling vents are blocked, or something similar. Details still seem to be up in the air, but the basic idea is a done deal: the Xbox One will definitely be able to monitor itself.

So hopefully we won't have another red ring of death debacle.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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