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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Microsoft to ship Xbox 360 on November 22 in US

Microsoft to ship Xbox 360 on November 22 in US

"Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research). said on Thursday its next-generation Xbox 360 video game console would go on sale in North America on November 22, just before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday kicks off the year-end shopping season, followed by European and Japanese debuts over the next three weeks.

The software giant aims to take the lead in the $25 billion video game market from Sony Corp. (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research), 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, concave, 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 world's second-largest game market.

While Xbox competes almost evenly with Sony's PlayStation 2 in the United States, in Japan it runs a distant third behind Sony and Nintendo Co.'s (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) GameCube.

Microsoft had sold 470,624 Xboxes in Japan as of August. This compares with Sony's 18.14 million cumulative PS2 sales, and Nintendo's 3.8 million GameCube unit sales, according to Famitsu, Japan's leading game magazine.

"The Japanese market is the most important key for the Xbox's global strategy. Microsoft is committing fully to its success in Japan," Yoshihiro Maruyama, general manager of the Xbox Division in Japan, told a press conference." [more]

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