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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Microsoft is armed for assault with Xbox 360

Microsoft is armed for assault with Xbox 360

"The buzz of Microsoft's Xbox 360 is starting to trickle to brick-and-mortar retail.

Electronics retailer Circuit City includes a poster of the Xbox 360 in vertical stance with a controller in the Xbox section of several locations. The poster profiles Microsoft's next-generation console only and does not cross-promote any software.

The point-of-purchase material is just the beginning of the marketing blitz for one of the hottest products in 2005. The Xbox 360 is expected to launch on November 4th before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend.

Microsoft will retail two versions of the Xbox 360, a Core System at $299, and a premium edition at $399.

To date, only online retailers have begun pre-orders for the system, with bundles ranging from $599 to $2,000. Brick-and-mortar retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Toys R Us, have not begun any pre-order campaigns for eager consumers.

Microsoft has contracted three factories in Southern China to manufacture the Xbox 360 for a global launch in North America, Europe, and Japan this holiday season.

The company will have a head start against rivals Sony and Nintendo, both of which will drop their respective next-generation consoles in 2006.

Microsoft launched the original Xbox in 2001 around the same period in November but in a much more skeptical environment. The console was the first video game console from the computer giant and the launch was faced with several public misfires, including a bulky case, controller, disc-drive failure, and lack of acceptable software in Japan." [more]

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