Microsoft: US gets 360 first

Robbie Bach reveals simultaneous worldwide Xbox 360 launch not as simultaneous as thought.


TOKYO--One of the aspects of the Xbox 360 launch that Microsoft has been touting is the global launch of the system, which left many to believe that come one lucky day in November, children all over the world would be opening their Xbox 360s and duking it out over Xbox Live in a quasi-"We Are the World" moment.

It appears that won't be the case. Microsoft chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach told Reuters today that the launch of the Xbox 360 in Japan and Europe will occur seven to 10 days after the North American launch. Microsoft hasn't announced a specific US release date for the next-generation console yet, but conventional wisdom points toward a mid-November date.

"We will launch in North America, Europe, and Japan in the same holiday season," Bach said to Reuters in a summit held by the news organization in Tokyo today. "There will probably be a week or 10 days in between the different territories, just to give us a chance to manage the logistics."

Microsoft will be holding a pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference in Japan tomorrow to unveil additional information regarding the Xbox 360. The company has begun advertising the console in Japanese magazines this week, announcing that the next-generation gaming console will be released at the end of the year in the country.

In America, the Xbox 360 will be offered in two SKUs: the Xbox 360 Core System and the Xbox 360. The two products will be sold at $299 and $399, respectively, and break down as follows:

Xbox 360 Core System - $299
- Xbox 360 console
- Wired controller
- Detachable faceplate
- Xbox Live Silver membership
- Standard AV cables

Xbox 360 - $399
- Xbox 360 console
- 20GB detachable hard drive
- Wireless controller
- Wireless Xbox Live headset
- High-definition AV cables
- Ethernet cable
- Xbox 360 Media Remote Control (limited time)
- Detachable faceplate
- Xbox Live Silver membership

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