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Microsoft to Release Two Versions of Xbox 360 Console

17 Aug, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Microsoft has announced two versions of its pending Xbox 360 console, slated to be available for the holidays: a bare-bones “core” version for $300 and an extended feature bundle for $400.

Both versions will be able to play DVDs out of the box.

Specialty retailers are counting on the new console to liven up an otherwise lackluster games market this year.

With a built-in Ethernet port and free Silver level of service out of the box, Xbox 360 also connects players to the Xbox Live global online console games and entertainment network. Xbox Live lets gamers can chat with friends online, build and share gamer profiles, send and receive text and voice messages and access Xbox Live Marketplace for new content, such as game demos, trailers and casual games. Subscribers to the Gold level of service also will get access to online multiplayer gaming and promotional programs such as worldwide tournaments, the chance to play online with their favorite celebrities, and opportunities to win prizes.

The Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Core System — along with a lineup of high-definition game titles — will debut in North America, Europe and Japan in an unprecedented three-region launch.

The Xbox 360 console premium edition will come fully loaded with components and accessories valued at more than $200 if sold separately.

Details for the Japan launch will be addressed at the Tokyo Game Show in September.

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