NEWS - Thursday, September 1, 2005

November 25th

Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox 360 as late as Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, with software potentially hitting shelves earlier that week, sources from three US retailers told IGN today. The three retail chains, all of whom independently pointed to Friday, November 25, as the hardware launch day, received email describing launch data late Monday. Launch day games have been re-assigned from early November to Monday, November 22, as potential first day ship dates. When contacted, Microsoft would not confirm or deny the information. In previous official announcements, Microsoft has said Xbox 360 will vaguely launch this fall. Why the late date? Microsoft is hoping to give developers as much time as possible to finish and polish their games while simultaneously shipping their concave new box during the most active day in North America. Additionally, independent sources have told IGN that final dev kits haven’t replaced the mid-summer beta kits, which has added to developers’ frustrations. Game developers, analysts, and retailers have all been unofficially told by Microsoft that November is the launch month, but even as late as today, when IGN phoned a handful of teams, they were still uncertain of a concrete date. Retailers, have thus far, provided shifting and often conflicting information, but rarely do their dates or numbers match up as evenly as this data. Is that too late for Microsoft? Hardly. In the current generation, the PS2 was the earliest to launch on October 26, 2000, while Nintendo and Microsoft launches their systems on Sunday November 18, and Thursday November 15, respectively. We’ll have more on the Xbox 360 launch soon.


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