Xbox delays Japanese rolllout

Cyberbiz Brief

Only a day after Nintendo announced it would delay the launch of its next-generation vidgaming console, Gamecube, in North America by two weeks, Microsoft said Friday it will bump to next year the bow of its own console, Xbox, in Japan, which represents one third of the global vidgaming market.

Until now, Microsoft has insisted that the company would release Xbox in Japan and North America this year, holding Europe off until 2002. Microsoft execs plan to unveil distribution plans of its gaming system today. System reps an aggressive effort by Microsoft to enter the $20 billion worldwide vidgaming market and move into consumers’ living rooms.

Xbox is said still to be on track for a Nov. 8 launch in North America with over 800,000 consoles, despite snags in production, complaints about plans to pre-sell the Xbox as part of bundles for up to $1,199 and games that aren’t impressing gamers. System will sell for $299.

Some inside Microsoft blame the delayed Japanese rollout on difficulties developing games that will do well in the Japanese market, which tends to favor simulation and role-playing games, as well as delays stemming from problems in ensuring that all tech components work smoothly together.

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