Xbox 360 News

Zero Hour looms for Xbox 360

Gamers party in Palmdale as debut nears

The Xbox 360 is nearly out in North America, and even as you read this those lucky enough to be attending the Zero Hour launch event stateside must be enjoying a fortunate first taste of the next-generation, at the US launch event in rural California. In an aircraft hangar in Palmdale, to be precise. There won't be a drunken celeb in sight however, Microsoft opting to celebrate the US debut with the gaming masses, or at least the lucky few who managed to bag tickets for the Zero Hour party. Gamers could register online in order to receive a coveted pass for the event, the largest gaming party ever, or win VIP entry via the Origen 360 site in Europe or its Hex 168 equivalent stateside.

The party, still going strong now, has been jumping since Sunday evening Pacific time, with attendees receiving all manner of goodies including new Memory Cards to update with Xbox Live accounts for gaming at the showcase. GameSpot, reporting from the unusual event, have revealed that DJs, music and food kept the huge thousands-strong crowd entertained as the Sunday sundown kick-off approached, with J Allard and Peter Moore officially kicking off the event. Inside, the lucky swines attending Zero Hour were treated to hundreds of online-ready gaming pods, demonstrating the entire 360 launch line-up in addition to playable code for Dead Rising, Full Auto, and The Outfit.

Naturally, keen gamers were in awe of the green and white spectacle, and despite the reported unit shortages a temporary Best Buy outlet was set-up to sell the console and extras to those enjoying the festival. On the unit situation, Moore told GameSpot that stocks at retailers will be replenished weekly.

Reports emerging from Zero Hour indicate that despite the exclusive nature of the party, not all of the 3,500 guests were present for the Sunday kick-off... though many more were predicted to be arriving about now as the console goes on-sale. Not quite the star-studded debut we would have predicted, but certainly an event more in tune with the public that will actually buy the machine. Stay with us as we usher in the next-generation in North America... scarcely hours remain.

Update: Microsoft are reporting that over 4,500 US retailers will open at midnight to sell the new console.

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