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Xbox 360 launch party in the desert?

I've been hearing for some time that Microsoft plans to fete the launch of the Xbox 360 with a big desert celebration. Until now, though, I hadn't heard anything definitive.

But now comes word, via ActiveWin, of something a little more specific.

According to the site, Microsoft is planning a giant event in the desert--"Burning Man meets E3"--where a whole bunch of selected game players will get to be among the first to get their hands on the new console.

It's supposed to be, or so I hear, a 24-hour event scheduled for either Nov. 21 or Nov. 22. And it should be somewhere in the south or central California desert.

There is expected to be lots of food, music, drinks and the like, and the bulk of the VIPs on hand will be winners of a small alternate reality game Microsoft is running called Hex168.

In any case, I'm wondering if any of the Microsofties have ever been to the desert before. I'm a veteran of innumerable desert trips and I can tell you that there is a simple guideline my friends and I try to stick to: Do not bring electronics!

It's only because of all the dust, and the downside is only total equipment failure. But, you know, it can work. I, in fact, have succeeded in bringing cameras and laptops to Burning Man, with few lasting effects. But I was also working hard to keep them protected, and I'm wondering what Microsoft has in mind.

For its part, Microsoft is keeping mum, though it has admitted its connection to Hex168.

Anyway, it's tempting to wonder why Microsoft would do something like this rather than hold its launch event in some fancy place like Los Angeles or San Francisco or Paris. Well, the company's answer seems to be that they want to do something that will appeal specifically to core fans. And I guess they think their core fans want to go to the desert.

We'll see. I just hope they provide a lot of water. We wouldn't want core Xbox 360 fans falling over from dehydration.