Microsoft is to launch its new Xbox
entertainment console in November for 499 dollars in the US and 499
euros in European markets, the company announced Monday.
The device will take on Sony's Playstation 4, which will also hit stores in time for the holidays at an as-yet unannounced price. The other mainstream video console, the Wii U, is already on sale at a price of 299 dollars in the US.
Microsoft announced the launch at the E3 electronic game expo in Los Angeles.
Microsoft announced the other major details of the console in a press event last month, showcasing a device that functions as an entertainment hub through which users can play games, surf the web, watch and record satellite or cable TV, make Skype video calls and watch videos and BlueRay discs.
Each device comes with an eight-core processor with 8 gigabytes of working memory and a 500GB hard drive, and includes a Kinect motion control device as well as the ability to function via voice controls.
Besides announcing the price (which was too high according to many bloggers), Microsoft also unveiled a series of new versions of popular games for the console including Forza MotorSport, Dead Rising 3, Minecraft and Halo.
The new consoles from Microsoft and Sony debut at a time of growing challenge for the makers of video game consoles, which are threatened by the rise of casual gaming on smartphones and tablet computers.
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