It's been a busy year for Microsoft.
If pushing through the final stages of a multi-billion-dollar console project wasn't mercilessly hectic and expensive enough, it's also faced a previously unimaginable backlash from the online community for the underpinning features and policies of the
But Microsoft is one of the fastest thinkers in games, and has made extraordinary policy reversals in an attempt to lure back its fleeting customers. Some of these changes were so drastic that there has been talk of Microsoft going too far in its attempts to placate endlessly angry online mobs. Some still think it hasn't gone far enough.
Below you'll find a slideshow timeline of the whole story - from rumour to confirmation to reversal - to give you a better picture of Microsoft's resolve, and what exactly you'll get on release day.
Jan 25, 2012 - Early rumblings A report from an alleged insider source suggests that the new Xbox might not play used games"
February 11, 2013 - No Dis-Kinect Weeks following the first leak, new rumours emerge suggesting that " Kinect will be mandatory" on the next Xbox.
April 2, 2012 - ALWAYS-ON MY MIND A further article claims that the new Xbox "will take steps to crack down on piracy with an always-on internet connection requirement".
April 5, 2013 - Deal with it MS Studios creative director Adam Orth sparks controversy when he tweets: "Every device now is always on. That's the world we live in. #dealwithit". When it was suggested that internet connectivity is not reliably available everywhere in the United States he replies: "Why on earth would I live there?"
Microsoft distances itself from the comments. Orth leaves Microsoft a week later.
May 21, 2013 - PRE-OWNED FEE Amid a flurry of confusion and mixed messages following the Xbox One reveal, one Microsoft spokesperson claims that " a fee must be paid" if games are traded or bought pre-owned.
May 21, 2013 - YES AND NO "Xbox One does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet," the official Xbox Wire news site states.
May 22, 2013 - Daily FIX Phil Harrison confirms the Xbox One needs to connect online at least once every 24 hours
May 23, 2013 - HEADSETS WILL ROLL A new report claims Xbox One " will not support current-gen gaming headsets".
May 25, 2013 - PONDERING PRE-OWNED Microsoft's Larry Hryb says Xbox One used game reports are " inaccurate and incomplete", adding: "Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games."
May 27, 2013 - RAISING BORDERS Microsoft confirms that the Xbox One will be region-locked.
May 28, 2013 - XBOX OFF Microsft rep claims Xbox One Kinect can be turned "completely off".
June 6, 2013 - HOLDING FIRM Microsoft reaffirms that online checks are required once every 24 hours
June 6, 2013 - PRE-OWNED FEE SCRAPPED Microsoft says it won't charge a fee for gamers passing game discs on to friends, but does add that "third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers".
June 10, 2013 - 21 Today During its E3 conference Microsoft announces that the Xbox One will release in November in 21 different countries.
June 12, 2013 - WE WON'T CHANGE Despite online criticism of its DRM policies, Microsoft games division boss Don Mattrick insists the Xbox One online strategy is " a good choice".
June 19, 2013 - FLIPS THE SWITCH Microsoft ditches Xbox One's previously proposed used game DRM policies and the need for the console to log in online once every 24 hours, and announces the console is now region-free.
June 19, 2013 - THAT WAS THEN Microsoft warns that the DRM policy revisions will result in the loss of a previously-proposed "family game sharing" feature. This would have allowed players to tie 10 family member accounts to the system, giving all full access to the games library.
June 25, 2013 - GET YOUR OWN Microsoft says the Xbox One will not include a headset, and that the microphone on Kinect will stand in as a suitable replacement.
June 28, 2013 - ADAPTING A Microsoft rep says the company is working on an adaptor for Xbox 360 headsets
July 1, 2013 - MAN DOWN Don Mattrick leaves Microsoft.
July 15, 2013 - Actually... Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten says the proposed Xbox One Family Sharing feature hasn't necessarily been shelved entirely, and " could return if in demand".
August 8, 2013 - IN FACT... An official Microsoft unboxing video reveals that a headset is indeed included with the Xbox One.
August 12, 2013 - HAVING SAID THAT... Microsoft confirms Kinect is no longer required for Xbox One to function.
August 14, 2013 - Well, you see... Microsoft states that the Xbox One will no longer be launching in November in 21 countries. Instead, it will launch in 13 countries, with a delay until early 2014 for eight European countries.