The next version of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox game console will be available in the United States two days before Thanksgiving, in time for the important holiday shopping season, the company said Wednesday.
The Nov. 22 launch of Xbox 360 in North America will be followed by a Dec. 2 launch in Europe and a Dec. 10 launch in Japan.
The releases will allow the Redmond-based software maker to get a head start over rival Sony’s PlayStation 3, which is slated to replace the market-leading PlayStation 2 next spring.
The Japanese unit will cost 37,900 yen, or about $345 - slightly less than the $399.99 the company is charging in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Microsoft had previously disclosed the U.S. price, as well as the European price of 399.99 euros.
Microsoft also is selling a scaled-back version, dubbed “Xbox 360 Core System,” for $299.99 in North America and 299.99 euros in Europe. But David Reid, director of platform marketing for Xbox, said the company had decided there wouldn’t be enough demand to immediately launch that cheaper system in Japan.