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Xbox 360 US, Europe and Japan release dates unveiled

The Xbox 360 will be launched in the US on 22 November. Still no confirmation on an Australian release other than early 2006.

The Xbox 360 will be launched in the US on 22 November. Still no confirmation on an Australian release other than early 2006.

Microsoft has announced that US gamers will get their hands on the Xbox 360 on 22 November, with Europe and Japan launching on 2 and 10 December respectively. The Australian release date, which is scheduled for early 2006, has not been finalised.

In its pre-Tokyo Games Show conference on Thursday afternoon, Microsoft announced that it is shipping the Xbox 360 in North America on Tuesday, 22 November, two days before Thanksgiving. However, the launch will come one week after the November 15 anniversary of the Xbox and Xbox Live launches.

Microsoft will stagger the release of the Xbox 360 by territory. Europe will get the console second on Friday, 2 December, while it will hit Japanese store shelves on Saturday, 10 December. The company also said the console is already being manufactured en masse, with "state-of-the-art facilities producing millions of units".

"This holiday season, gamers in Japan, Europe and North America pining to experience jaw-dropping high-definition graphics, unmatched online play and compelling digital entertainment features of Xbox 360 will finally have the chance," said chief Xbox officer said Robbie Bach. "Renowned development studios around the world are busy putting the finishing touches on their Xbox 360 games. We expect a strong portfolio of titles on launch day and through the holidays that will appeal to fans of every genre and gamers in every region, and with more than 200 games currently in development, continuous new additions to the library are on the way."

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