Microsoft announces Xbox 360 launch dates

Friday, September 16, 2005

Microsoft announced on Thursday the release dates for the new version of the Xbox gaming console. The Xbox 360 will be in shops in the US on November 22. It will be launched in Europe on December 2 and in Japan on December 10.

The Xbox 360 in the US and Europe will come in two editions, base and premium. The premium edition will include the console, an external hard drive, wireless controllers, headset and membership in the Xbox Live gaming service. The base version will only include the console and a wired controller. The base edition will sell for £209.99 in the UK, €299.99 in Europe and $299.99 in the USA. The premium edition will sell for £279.99 in the UK and $399.99 in the USA. A third edition with nearly identical features to the premium edition will be available in Japan for ¥37,900.

Microsoft has said up to 20 games would be ready by the launch date, and 40 games should be launched by the end of 2005. "We expect a strong portfolio of titles on launch day and through the holidays that will appeal to fans of every genre and gamers in every region," said Chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach.

The launch date is two days before Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the US Christmas buying season. A November launch will give Microsoft a lead over competitors Sony and Nintendo. Sony plans to release the PlayStation 3 in the spring of 2006, and Nintendo plans to release its new console, the Revolution, sometime next year.