Microsoft's Xbox One will be released on November 22, a full week before Sony's PlayStation 4 hits retail in most regions. The one exception is in North America where the PlayStation 4 is slated to launch on November 15.

The Xbox One will initially be available in 13 countries - Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the US. Remaining markets won't see the Xbox One until sometime in early 2014, Microsoft said.

The imminent launch sets up the first new console war since 2006 with this battle looking more intense than ever. Both systems will be launching before Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day in the US, which is often regarded as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Of course, with both machines likely to be sold out well before then, it's not likely to have much of an impact on the already chaotic day.

Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox's marketing vice president, said the Xbox One is the culmination of many years of listening to Xbox fans, developing innovative technology and partnering with the best game and entertainment partners in the industry. He said there is still a lot more work to do but the teams are making excellent progress and are focused on the launch.

Sales of the Xbox One will top the debut of the Xbox 360, Yusuf said, although he declined to get into any specific figures.