Xbox 360 hits Japanese net cafes

Far East gamers will soon get exposure to a sampling of the system's lineup, from Ninety-Nine Nights to Dead or Alive 4.

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In its continuing effort to ignite demand among Japanese gamers, Microsoft has cut deals with Internet cafes in central Tokyo to add Xbox 360 consoles to their offerings. The company seems to hope that hands-on trials will convert to console sales in the Japanese market, which so far has given Microsoft's next-gen game machine a chilly reception.

The promotion will run from April 27 to March 28, and according to the official Japanese Xbox site, gamers will be able to pick from the following titles:

Dead or Alive 4
2006 FIFA World Cup
Ninety-Nine Nights (N3)
Project Gotham Racing 3
Ridge Racer 6
eM eNCHANT arM
Burnout Revenge
Fight Night Round 3
Pro Yakyuu Spirits 3
Rumble Roses XX
Wrestle Kingdom
Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires
Tsuushin Taisen Mahjong Toryumon
Tengai Makyou Ziria-Haruka Naru Zipangu (a sequel to Far East of Eden: Ziria)

Japanese Internet cafes are different from their US counterparts in that they typically offer a wide range of options in addition to Internet access, including console and PC games, DVD collections, and manga libraries. As such, they attract a wide range of users--a key point for Microsoft, whose recent Xbox 360 publicity blitz has attracted only a small number of core gamers.

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