- Title: USA: Microsoft's new Xbox video game console released
- Date: 25th November 2005
- Summary: (L!3) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) MICROSOFT HEADQUARTERS (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 10th December 2005 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA1IMYITINAVIQ9XOFD79E5HDVT
- Story Text: More than 200 hard-core video game fans braved cold temperatures in Bellevue, Washington to be among the first to get their hands on Microsoft Corp.'s 360 video game console, which went on sale in North America on Tuesday (November 22).
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates showed up at a Best Buy store before midnight in the Seattle suburb, situated between his house and Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters, to play games and hand out the first Xbox 360 console sold at the store.
Dan Friedman, 26, a Microsoft programmer in a division unrelated to the Xbox business, took time off from work to line up for over three days to get the first Xbox 360. "It was totally worth the wait," said Friedman, who spent 1,058.47 U.S. dollars to buy the 400 dollar (USD) console along with various games and accessories. The crowds of gamers in both stores - Best Buy is Microsoft's official retail launch partner - clapped and cheered when the first purchases were made.
Xbox fever hit a new high in the middle of the Mojave Desert, where 3500 gamers descended on an Xbox launch party. Paris Hilton was among the celebrities who showed their support for the new product.
"The Xbox 360 is one of the biggest things that's happened to the industry in a long time. The two big things going on in the industry are high definition and gaming and this is a gaming product that fully utilizes all the advantage of high definition plus engagement with the net. So we think it's going to be one of the most exciting products we've had to sell in years," Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, a major electronics store, said.
The November debut gives Microsoft a valuable head start with consumers.
But analysts question whether the software giant will be able to grab the lead from Sony, whose Playstation 2 has outsold Microsoft's original Xbox by more than 2 to 1 in the United States. Instead of the black, bulky original Xbox, Microsoft designed the white-and-silver Xbox 360 with more curves and a smaller profile, with a detachable front panel that can be swapped out with panels of various colours and designs.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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