Xbox 360 Steadies Itself For PS3 Launch

Dennis Faas's picture

A number of events are pouring out of Microsoft headquarters as the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) launch approaches. Giddy representatives from the Redmond-based company made a few big announcements at the Leipzig Game Convention in Germany, including a host of new peripherals. In addition, one significant rumor on the Xbox 360 isn't coming from Microsoft itself, but does concern the console's future in Europe.

First off, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console will be the primary home of soccer -- sorry "football" -- in the future. Just recently, The Big M made an announcement that it had achieved exclusive rights to Electronic Arts' FIFA 07 and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 6. The latter is most surprising, considering Konami's long-time support of Sony consoles through franchises like Metal Gear Solid.

Secondly, around the same time Sony will be releasing the PS3 in November, Microsoft will launch its Xbox Live Vision camera. Set in two packages ($39.99 with two games plus short Live subscription and $79.99 with three games and year-long Live subscription), the camera will allow anyone from fifteen to fifty to rudely flash the competition after a particularly gruesome Halo 3 kill (don't get me started on its release).

Thirdly, racing nuts will be interested in the upcoming Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, also due out this November. Retailing for a relatively steep $149.99, the wheel may also be packaged with the popular launch title Project Gotham Racing 3.

Finally, a few other details. The 360 is moving into Eastern Europe as Microsoft announced plans to launch the console in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. (Source:

Despite this move beyond the former "Iron Curtain", Microsoft's European market is preparing for a disaster in November. Retailers there clearly don't have much confidence in the 360's future against the PS3, as many are lowering the prices of Microsoft's console before the holiday rush. Despite Microsoft's assurance that it has no intentions of lowering prices across the pond, retailers are doing so anyhow.

According to one report, British online 360 vendor has already dropped the price of the console from 209.99 pounds to 199.99 pounds. To us, that's just $20, but a clear sign that European insiders do believe Sony when it promises a November release. (Source:

Stay tuned to see if that becomes reality.

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