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Xbox 360 on Track for Large-Scale 2005 Release

At an event earlier this week, Microsoft put to rest rumors that it would launch the new console in Japan later than in North America. The company says the Xbox 360 is on track to launch in Europe, Japan, and North America simultaneously this holiday season. The three-region launch will be a first in video-game history. Traditionally, to minimize inventory shortages and maximize regional support, manufacturers have spaced out the launch of new consoles by several months to almost a year over geographic regions. At the event, the company also announced that more than 50 of Japan’s elite game publishers will support the Xbox 360. The original Xbox was poorly received in Japan, and Microsoft hopes the new console will win the hearts of the important Japanese market. Some of the notable Japanese publishers that will be supporting the Xbox 360 include Capcom, Konami, Namco, and Tecmo. Major titles, such as the next version of the popular “Dead or Alive" fighting series, the "Resident Evil" action game, and the "Ridge Racer" racing game, will also be available for the console.

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