Microsoft said on Thursday it would launch the advanced version of its Xbox 360 game console, Xbox 360 Elite, on October 11 in Japan, a country where sales of its game gear lag far behind rival machines from Nintendo and Sony.
The new console, which comes with a 120-gigabyte hard disk drive - twice as big as that of Sony's PlayStation 3 console - and offers better graphics quality, will sell for 47,800 yen ($390). The device comes with an HDMI output, capable of delivering 1080p high-def video, while it is also able to upscale DVD video to HD resolutions.
That compares with 25,000 yen for Nintendo's Wii and 49,980 yen for the basic version of Sony's PlayStation 3, equipped with a 20-gigabyte hard drive.
Microsoft sold 122,565 units of Xbox 360 in the first half of calendar 2007 in Japan, a home turf for Sony and Nintendo, according to data from game magazine publisher Enterbrain.
Nintendo's Wii sales came to 1.78 million units and Sony sold 503,554 units of its PlayStation 3 during the same period.
The Xbox 360 Elite is already sold in North America for $480.