An Xbox One console on show at the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne, Germany, in August

Microsoft to release Xbox One before PS4

Microsoft has announced its new Xbox One will go on sale a week before Sony's PlayStation 4.

The £429 console, Microsoft's first since the Xbox 360 eight years ago, will hit the high street in the UK and 12 other countries on 22 November, the company said, two weeks after Sony announced the £349 fourth generation PlayStation would go on sale in the UK on 29 November, with an earlier 15 November launch in the US.

Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox's corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business, said US pre-orders of the new console had outstripped anything before it.

"The culmination of many years of listening to you, our fans, developing innovative technology and partnering with the best game and entertainment partners in the industry has brought us to this point," he said.

"There is still a lot more work to do, but the teams are making excellent progress and are focused on launch."

Mehdi said the new platform, unveiled in May at Microsoft's US headquarters in Redmond, Washington, had had its CPU power increased by around 10 per cent, from 1.6GHZ to 1.75GHZ, to give added scope to game developers.

The sleek black console, with a new Kinect camera sensor and game pad, is the successor to the hugely successful Xbox 360, which sold a reported 77 million consoles around the world.

The new machine sees Microsoft add a Blu-ray drive to its console and the use of video calling service Skype. The upgraded Kinect camera allows the device to better analyse body movements and can even read a user's heartbeat when exercising, Microsoft said when the device was launched.

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