Still 2005 for Xbox 360
Microsoft's Japanese Xbox conference last week was used to put-pay to escalating rumours that the Xbox 360 has been delayed, after some reports had suggested it might not be out until early 2006 - at least in Japan. One of the company's top bosses Peter Moore re-confirmed that the 360 console is still due out in Europe, North America and Japan before the end of 2005. "We are going to make history when we launch in three regions this holiday season: Japan, Europe, and North America. That's never been done before, but we will do it," the executive boasted.
The PS3 is expected out in Japan, and possibly in other regions too in the Spring of 2006, and any delay to the Xbox 360 release schedule would of course put Microsoft and Sony's competing offerings on collision course. Serenading the predominantly Japanese audience in Tokyo, Moore also highlighted the importance of the region to the Xbox 360, describing "the world's first gaming superpower."
"I know that success in this country is the ultimate tribute to the compelling power of our new platform," he added - though Microsoft must learn much from the debacle that was the original Xbox if they are to succeed in this most colloquial of markets.