Microsoft has delayed the launch of Xbox One until 2014 across eight European markets.

The console now won't launch until the new year in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

The UK remains unaffected, with the console still on track to launch this November.

The platform holder says it hopes to launch Xbox One in the affected markets "as soon as possible", and that it will compensate existing pre-order customers with a free game.

"While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets, there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches," Microsoft said on Xbox Wire. "This includes work to localize the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country."

"We understand this will be disappointing news for our fans in the impacted countries, and we are doing everything we can to bring Xbox One to you as soon as possible next year."

The news follows comments made by Microsoft's chief of staff for Devices and Studios Group earlier today suggesting that rumours of a delay weren't true.

UPDATE: Since publishing this story, Microsoft has provided with the following statement:

"We want to ensure our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. In order to meet initial demand and deliver the best product and experience for consumers, we are narrowing our November launch from 21 countries to 13.

"Xbox One will launch first in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria in November 2013. The system will launch in other markets, including Russia, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark in 2014.

"We understand this is disappointing news to our fans in those markets. To show our appreciation for their patience, customers who have already preordered an Xbox One Day One system before today in those countries will also receive a pack-in game with their system when it launches. (Subject to availability; see your local retailer where you preordered for complete details.)"