Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 will be launched in the Asian market outside of Japan, by March 2006.
The company plans to release the new console in Korea on February 24, 2006; and in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore on March 2, 2006.
Microsoft is already under pressure, with growing criticism regarding supply shortages in the US and Europe. With Xbox 360 slated for release in Japan and Australia on December 10 and March 2 respectively, there are fears that supply shortages might worsen.
However Alan Bowman, general manager - Xbox business, Asia, reportedly put these worries to rest saying that the company was hopeful it could produce enough consoles for the Asian market.
Bowman said that Microsoft is putting-in considerable effort into the Sony-dominated Asian market this time around, and intends to launch Xbox 360 into all existing Xbox 1 markets within the first 6 months.
Microsoft is going in for an early release in order to get a foothold in the Asian market, before the release of Sony's Gen-Next console - the Playstation 3 plus Nintendo's Revolution console, both scheduled for release sometime in 2006.
Microsoft plans to launch Xbox 360 in Asia with 15 titles, as against the 18 titles accompanying the North America launch. The upcoming Asian titles include Activision's "Call of Duty 2," Electronic Arts' "NBA Live 2006," "Need for Speed: Most Wanted," etc.
Xbox 360 Asia prices are expected to be in line with those in US and Europe.