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  1. #1

    X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Microsoft kicked-off its Tokyo Game Show presence with a press conference, encompassing worldwide launch dates, Japanese pricing, and details on upcoming games for all territories. In addition to the big announcement about the official launch date -- Tuesday, November 22 in North America, Friday, December 2 in Europe, and Saturday, December 10 in Japan -- IGN has learned some other interesting details on backward compatibility, the launch line-up, and HDD support -- and even saw a few demos.

    Hoping to make a bigger splash in Japan with the Xbox 360 than they did with the original Xbox, Microsoft announced that over 100 Japanese-targeted games are in development. Those of you who like Japanese RPGs, fighting games and other Japanese-style titles will be happy to know that we'll likely see more Japanese-developed games than we did with the original Xbox as well. However, Maruyama did say there will be region enforcements for games on the X360, so importing games from region to region may be difficult.

    One question that has been on most minds is what titles can we expect on launch day? Launch titles should include Ridge Racer 6, Frame City Killer, Enchant Arm, Dead or Alive 4, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, and Every Party, among others.

    Maruyama continued by broadly stating that the 360 launch is based on a worldwide model. High-Def Entertainment has three factors including High-Def sound, a system that is always online, and customization. Currently there are over 100 titles in development. The majority of these games will be launched before 2006. 66 have already been announced and over 200 titles available worldwide.

    The big news which came towards the end of the conference was that the Japanese launch date is Saturday December 10th. The price excluding tax will be 37,900 yen (about $350) and every console will come with hard drive, remote control, and wireless controller. Seven titles will be available for launch with six more titles before end of January. Several more titles may be also be ready, bringing the total to more than 20 games before January. With launch there will also be a Beta test for Final Fantasy XI.

    During the Q&A session after the conference, Maruyama was asking about backwards compatibility. He said pretty much the same thing we had heard before: that Microsoft will try to support backwards compatibility for as many Xbox games as possible, but that that not all Xbox games will work on the Xbox 360. Microsoft will instead focus on the popular, successful games, and release compatibility upgrades over time, most likely in the form of an Xbox Live download. Maruyama also said that Microsoft will be discussing specifics of backwards compatibility in more detail "soon."

    Another hot topic at the Q&A session was the lack of HD-DVD in the launch system. Maruyama said that the HD-DVD is not needed for high definition games, obviously. However, in the future it's possible that Microsoft will add an HD-DVD to the system.

    Hard drive requirements were also addressed at the conference. As far as the removable hard drive goes, the majority of Xbox 360 games have to be playable without the HDD. However, there will be some exceptions, such as Final Fantasy XI, that will require the HDD. Here's a brief summary of the answers given in the Q&A session:

    • The reason the hard disk will be included because in Japan because the country has an excellent infrastructure for broadband access. Some online gameplay (FFXI) will require a hard disk. There has not yet been a decision to release a core system in Japan at this time.
    • They have not yet made an announcement on the initial shipment numbers.
    • Microsoft has built their current strategy based on an environment that stresses Xbox Live. They think that by showing the console and the games consumers will be naturally attracted to the system. The current effort will be drawn out over the coming years. The previous effort with Xbox 1 was not successful because of time constraints and the lack of software. Xbox 360 has been in development for a couple of years with an impressive lineup of games.
    • They believe that there are benefits to being first to launch in the game market but the most important aspect is the provided software. The console is less expensive in Japan, but it is an appropriate price for the current market and one must keep in mind that fluctuating markets change the comparative cost.
    • Microsoft has no plans to launch a handheld. The approach to a high definition marketplace is centered around the home and a large screen, not a handheld device.
    • The current titles and the most popular titles will be prioritized as being backwards compatible. Specific games are not yet being announced but the most popular games will be backwards compatible.
    • Microsoft has discussed including HD DVD in the future but the current HD display for games does not require the use of HD DVD hardware.
    Rogue Squadron-19 Golds, Battle For Naboo-18 Platinums, Rogue Leader-15 Golds/15 Aces, Rebel Strike-19 Single Golds/19 Single Aces
    James Boba Fettfield & Lord Malakite's Video Game Collection

  2. #2

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Just played the XBox 360 at Wal Mart today and it is BREATHTAKING!!!!
    Unbelievabe!!!!!!!!! Played Call of Duty 2 demo. Really cool and realistic. The graphics are to a point now where you swear its real video. Its that good.

    I learned that the reason the XBox didn't go over so well in Japan is because it was too big and clunky. The Japanese like things small and light, thus why the gamecube is what it is.
    No matter how I die, even if there is a suicide note; it was murder. Cheers!
    MWHAHAHAHA!

  3. #3

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Wow, I didn't know that demo's were in the stores yet (tells you how often I make it out there).

    How was the controller? Is it big and bulky like the orginal XBox controller or smaller like the second generation controllers? Did they have any demo's for a sports or driving game? I really like NCAA football and Project Gotham Racing and am looking forward to seeing those on the 360. I've seen the PGR demo online and it was absolutely amazing.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  4. #4

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Not bad. $350 is a resonable opening cost and I'm sure you can expect that to be down to around $250 Christmas 2006. I doubt I'll buy one but I'll sure as hell play my roommates when he spends his money on it.

    Non of the initial titles being offered appeal to me so it'll probably be a bit before I play it.
    Up, up, and OKAAAAY!!!

  5. #5

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust Port
    Wow, I didn't know that demo's were in the stores yet (tells you how often I make it out there).

    How was the controller? Is it big and bulky like the orginal XBox controller or smaller like the second generation controllers? Did they have any demo's for a sports or driving game? I really like NCAA football and Project Gotham Racing and am looking forward to seeing those on the 360. I've seen the PGR demo online and it was absolutely amazing.
    I believe the controllers are exactly like the 2nd gen controllers.
    I didn't play them, but they did have some racing and sports but I don't think they were playable, just video demos.

    and darn it....

    They turned the unit off at WM becuase they said it was interferring with the TVs and computers in the electronics section. They said they need some mod chip for it to correct the problem. Have any idea what is happening there?
    No matter how I die, even if there is a suicide note; it was murder. Cheers!
    MWHAHAHAHA!

  6. #6

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    I work in the electronics department at my wally world and we got in more information this week. We're only getting 14 in for the launch of Nov 22nd, that's right 14.

    10-core packs for 299.00
    4- bundle packs (with hard drive) for 399.00

    Its' going to be a fun midnight sale, i can tell you that much.
    "Woke up at 9.55am. Soon as I woke up, I looked at Suzanne and she looked at me. I said, 'Did I tell you about the immune system?' Suzanne starting laughing, I said, 'it's amazing.' She said, 'Not now.'"

  7. #7

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    i hope to get mine at midnight. if i have enough money...
    HF
    Sampsonite! i was way off!

  8. #8

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Huh, I'll wait a year or so before getting one. That's WAY too much money for me. Especially when it sounds like you can't play most of the 1st gen XBox games on the new system.

    I'm waiting on PS3 as well.

    I've heard that the new Nintendo console will be backwards compatible (having adapters) all the way back to SuperNintendo. Anyone confirm this?

    If so, that will probably be my first stop, depending on price.

    -Sal
    Move along, move along

  9. #9

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by jedi master sal
    I've heard that the new Nintendo console will be backwards compatible (having adapters) all the way back to SuperNintendo. Anyone confirm this?
    Thats partially true Sal. Revolution is only backwards compatible in the physical sense with GameCube games. This is because both Revolution and GameCube use disc formats, where as the older systems are all cartridge based. It will also be able to play Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, and original Nintendo games as you heard, but those will be made available through an online internet service which will require you to pay a download fee for the games you play.
    Rogue Squadron-19 Golds, Battle For Naboo-18 Platinums, Rogue Leader-15 Golds/15 Aces, Rebel Strike-19 Single Golds/19 Single Aces
    James Boba Fettfield & Lord Malakite's Video Game Collection

  10. #10

    Re: X-Box 360 Release Date and Launch Details Revealed

    Well, the Target near me had an Xbox 360 kiosk out today. We put in a few minutes playing the Call of Duty 2 demo, as well as the King Kong demo.

    First, I'll say that $400 really does seem like a lot of money to spend on a game console.

    ...but, it looks good. Sharp graphics, rich textures and smooth game play. We only fiddled around for a bit, not long enough to come up with any kind of serious opinion, but I was impressed. If anything, I would say that it felt more like playing on a PC than a regular console.

    At this point, I'm not wild about the game selection. I'm not wild about the $60 game price point. I don't really do online gaming, (well... not yet) so I'm not too excited about Xbox online.

    I'd like to wait and see if anyone has any kind of problems with this new system. Trying to be prudent, we'll probably end up holding off for a good while on this... though I'll admit that I'd love to just go out and buy one on Tuesday.

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