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Thursday, September 15, 2005
Microsoft to Ship Xbox 360 Nov 22 in US


Microsoft said on Thursday its next-generation Xbox 360 video game console would go on sale in North America on November 22.

The company launches its highly anticipated game console just before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday kicks off the year-end shopping season. European launch will follow by European and Japan debuts over the next three weeks.

The software giant aims to take the lead in the $25 billion video game market from Sony, which was first to market with a current generation console. Sony's PlayStation 3 will trail the Xbox 360, debuting in the spring.

Microsoft said the sleek, white Xbox 360, which boasts high-resolution graphics and wireless controllers, would be released on December 2 in Europe and December 10 in Japan.

The company, which plans to sell separate high-end and "Core System" Xbox 360 bundles in the United States and Europe, will launch in Japan with just a premium Xbox 360 package -- priced at 37,900 yen.

That high-end package includes the new console, a wireless controller and other accessories as well as a detachable hard drive needed to play certain game titles written for the original Xbox and sophisticated games. It will cost around $400 in the United States, $100 more than the Xbox 360 Core System.

Sony's current-generation PlayStation 2 has outsold the original Xbox after hitting the market more than a year before Microsoft and with significantly more games.

Microsoft vowed it would not be second this time around and plans to have 15 to 20 games ready at launch, with 25 to 40 ready by the end of 2005.


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