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Xbox One to launch November 22

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(Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has finally spilled the Xbox One’s last big secret.

The company announced Wednesday that it would begin selling its next-generation console on Friday, November 22 in 13 territories, setting the stage for the holiday season's biggest video game battle in seven years.

While the PlayStation 4 arrives in the U.S. on November 15 -- one full week before the Xbox One -- Microsoft will attempt to corner the crucial Black Friday shopping period. The Xbox One will conversely beat Sony to shelves by a week in Europe.

The system, as previously announced, will cost $499 in the US, €499 in Europe, and £430 in the UK and will include the console itself, an improved Kinect sensor, headset, controller and an HDMI cable. Sony’s competing console is $100 cheaper.

The launch date of the Xbox One, coincidentally, is the same date the Xbox 360 went on sale in 2005.

[Related: Xbox One knows when it's overheating, adjusts accordingly]

Aware of the shipping problems that plagued that console’s launch, however, Microsoft announced that full production of the Xbox One console is now underway so it can keep up with demand this holiday season. And, in keeping with Microsoft's recent track record of changes, the company managed to sneak one last adjustment into the console before it began mass production by increasing the system's CPU performance by roughly 10 percent.

Microsoft says pre-orders for the Xbox One sold out quicker than either of its two predecessors and it expects the Xbox One to be its largest console launch. Keep in mind, the company doesn't reveal how many systems it allocates for initial pre-orders, so the speed of that sellout is less telling than it might initially seem.

To celebrate the launch announcement, Microsoft says it is releasing another batch of Xbox One Day One consoles to retailers for pre-order, letting gamers ensure they get one without hassle.

"November 22 is a special day in Xbox history," said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business of the Xbox team. "Our next chapter begins in 79 days, when Xbox One becomes available. We built Xbox One to bring you the best games, unrivaled multiplayer and more entertainment than ever before."

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