Xbox 360 Launching November 22

Post ImageIt’s finally official! Microsoft has announced that the new Xbox 360 will be launched on November 22nd, just in time for Christmas (via Engadget):

Fueling global anticipation for the arrival of its powerful new video game and entertainment system, Microsoft® today announced that Xbox 360™ will arrive on store shelves Tuesday, November 22 in North America, Friday, December 2 in Europe, and Saturday, December 10 in Japan. The announcement, made on the eve of Tokyo Game Show 2005, marked the first time that a game console will be launched in three territories in the same time frame. In preparation for what is expected to be massive worldwide demand for the new system, Microsoft also announced that Xbox 360 manufacturing is under way, with state-of-the-art facilities producing millions of units ultimately bound for frenzied gamers’ homes from Osaka, Japan, to Oxford, England, and Orlando, Fla.

I want one of these things in the worst way – and it’s not really because of the games. It’s more because of the social element Microsoft has added to the console. And I think that’s very smart. Maybe it will be the beginning of the end of the “you need killer games to sell consoles” attitude.

Read: Xbox.com

Xbox 360 Stores

Post ImageLooks like Microsoft is getting serious about the Xbox 360 launch, with rumors of plans for two new Xbox 360 stores:

Looks like Microsoft is the last to get into the game with plans to open an Xbox 360 store in New York City’s Times Square. At least, rumour has it that they’re looking into prime real estate for that purpose. And by prime they may indeed truly mean prime, as in the 18,000 square-foot space that is One Times Square.

And the second store, in Tokyo:

The timing couldn’t be any better on this one — ITmedia snapped some pics of the construction shielding surrounding what they suppose is an Xbox 360 store.

I don’t know why a console needs its own store, and such a big one at that, but you have to admit it’s pretty cool 🙂

Read: Engadget

Microsoft sets Xbox 360 pricing

Post ImageMicrosoft has finally revealed the pricing for the forthcoming Xbox 360 console, and it looks bad for Sony, especially if they really are going to price the PS3 quite high as expected:

Pricing on the much anticipated Xbox 360 will start at $299.99, Microsoft announced Wednesday.

Scheduled to launch in North America in time for the holiday season, that core version of the tech giant’s next-generation game system will include the console, one controller, a white faceplate and an audiovisual cable.

But wait, there’s more!

For $100 more, gamers can upgrade to the premium edition. That package will feature, in addition to the standard equipment, a headset, remote, membership to the Xbox Live entertainment and chat network, and a 20GB hard drive for storing games, music, and other content downloaded from Xbox Live. It will also swap out the wired controller for a wireless one.

The premium edition will be known as the Xbox 360 and will have a cream-colored shell, while the lower-priced version will be called the Xbox 360 core system and will come in a light green box, said David Reed, director of platform marketing for Xbox.

Yeah, so why you’d purchase a core system is beyond me. Seems like a waste when you get the premium for only a hundred bucks more. Even Microsoft’s director of platform marketing for Xbox David Reed knows it, “There’s no question we’re going to sell a lot more Xbox 360 this holiday than we are of the Xbox 360 core system.”

Read: CNET News.com