Microsoft is positioning the system as a broad-based consumer entertainment platform that does more than gaming; it can also record television programs, play music, and display photos.
Microsoft unwrapped its Xbox 360 gaming console Tuesday, amid a major marketing push from the software giant.
Microsoft is positioning the system as a broad-based consumer entertainment platform, which plays not just games, but can also record television programs via its digital video recorder feature, and can play music and display photos.
With its pre-Christmas launch, Microsoft is hoping to gain market share from Sony and its competing Playstation console. Sony's new Playstation 3 is expected to debut next year. Currently, Sony holds the top position in the games console market, Microsoft is second, and Nintendo holds third place with its GameCube.
The Xbox hype from Microsoft included 12:01 a.m. store openings Tuesday morning at numerous Best Buy stores nationwide to sell the first systems to anxious gamers who'd lined up overnight.
Online auction site eBay has been carrying listings for the system for weeks. Asking prices as much as $1,000 -- three times the retail price -- have been seen.
"The debut of Xbox 360 marks one of the biggest consumer launches in Microsoft’s history,” Robbie Bach, Microsoft's entertainment and devices division chief said in a press release.
Eighteen games were available at the launch to prime Xbox sales, including "Perfect Dark Zero," "Project Gotham Racing 3," and "Kameo: Elements of Power," from Microsoft Game Studios.
While today's launch marked the debut of the Xbox in the United States, the console won't go on sale in Europe until Dec. 2. In Japan, gamers must wait for the Dec. 10 launch.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."