NEWS - Monday, October 10, 2005

Xbox 360 Lounge Opens In Japan

Microsoft’s uphill battle to get Xbox 360 into Japanese households features the type of dedication movies are made of. Sure, they might be lacking in popularity in gamer polls, but they’re not giving up. Their latest push is an Xbox 360 Lounge in Aoyama, a residential area in pre-WW2 days, but now a fashionable business and shopping location. Visually striking, the outside design is a white building with the swirling green lines not unlike Xbox 360 itself. In the building, Microsoft’s fusing music, fashion, film, sports, and the arts as a base for various cultural promotions linked to Xbox 360. The lounge has also been fashioned with playable Xbox 360 stands, a giant 200-inch screen for events, and a café that seats roughly 70 people. Paramount Home Entertainment Japan and Microsoft Japan are decorating the entire place in a War of the Worlds motif for their first promotional tie-in. From November 7th through 13th, lounge goers can watch War of the Worlds, buy the movie on DVD and - true to Japanese form - have a chance to pick up a limited edition soft drink. Tying into the Xbox 360, they can enter a raffle for a War of the Worlds faceplate, and it actually looks pretty neat. This will most likely be the first of many Xbox 360 lounge promotions (and probably the first of many faceplates, as well). Will western gamers have a shot at these plates, too? Considering the US DVD release date of War of the Worlds falls on the same day as the Xbox 360 US launch, who knows.

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