Microsoft announced today that it will launch the Xbox One on November 22 in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA. Microsoft previously delayed the launch of its next-gen gaming system in eight countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. The console will now launch in these markets sometime in 2014.

The release date was confirmed by Lawrence ‘Major Nelson’ Hyrb, Director of Programming for Microsoft, on his official blog, as well as by Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business for Xbox over on Xbox Wire.

The console will launch shortly after the PlayStation 4 in the US (November 15), but a week or so before Sony’s next-gen console debuts in Europe (November 29). It ensures that both video game consoles will be available to order on Black Friday in the US, as well as in the run up to Christmas in all of its initial launch markets.

The Xbox One will be sold for $499 with a single controller, Kinect, and a Chat headset. There will be 23 games at launch, of which most are cross-platform and cross-generation titles. Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome exclusive to the Xbox One, however.

It was revealed earlier today that the CPU of the Xbox One had been bumped up from 1.6 GHZ to 1.75 GHZ, following a similar upgrade to the GPU clock speed. New NFL and ESPN apps will be available for this year’s America football season, and for a limited time pre-order for the Day One edition will ship with a free copy of FIFA 14 in Europe.

Voice commands will only be supported on the Xbox One in five countries at launch, although users can choose to import the region-free console to snag this functionality early.

Players will also notice that the Xbox Live Marketplace has been rebranded as the Xbox Games Store, and following a similar update on the Xbox 360, they’ll be able to buy digital content in their local currency; Microsoft Points have been scrapped.

Still can’t decide whether to buy the Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Read our in-depth guides:

➤ An occasional gamer’s guide to buying a next-gen console: Xbox One
➤ An occasional gamer’s guide to buying a next-gen console: PlayStation 4

Featured image credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images