The Xbox One may arrive in stores a week after Sony’s PlayStation 4 becomes available on Friday, but Microsoft is looking to make as much noise as possible to steal consumers’ attention away from its rival.
Microsoft, known for spending heavily on marketing campaigns around its hardware and software launches, is planning what it calls “one of the biggest entertainment premieres of the year” to celebrate the release of the Xbox One on Nov. 22.
Company will host a worldwide countdown for its next-generation videogame console, which replaces the Xbox 360, with music acts Macklemore and Ryan Lewis set to perform in New York City’s Times Square while zombies, Roman soldiers and supercars converge on the Best Buy Theater there. Microsoft will let the first 1,000 fans who purchase an Xbox One or Xbox One game enjoy the concert in person.
That same evening in Los Angeles, deadmau5 will perform at Milk Studios, with gameplay stations for “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Ryse: Son of Rome,” “Dead Rising 3,” “Killer Instinct” and other Xbox One game titles set up.
Overall, Microsoft has lined up 10,000 stores in 13 countries to open their doors at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 22 to start selling the console, including Best Buy, EB Games, FNAC, Gameans, GameStop, Media Mrkt, Sam’s Club, Saturn, Tesco — and Blockbuster. In the U.S., select Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and the Microsoft retail stores will host midnight launch parties.
The launch events will take place in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria.
Effort is elaborate.
In New Zealand, EB Games and Xbox will host their event at Shed 10 in Auckland; Australia will light up the Sydney Harbour. In Italy, music acts Skin and Emis Killa will launch the device with MTV, and a massive Xbox One will appear in Toronto to court Canadian gamers.
Spike TV will broadcast the launch at 11 p.m. ET and on Xbox.com and on Xbox Live.
The Xbox 360 has sold 80 million consoles worldwide since it was launched in 2006, and Microsoft is clearly looking to top those figures by touting the Xbox One as a hub for all forms of entertainment, not just games.
“Today we invite millions of Xbox fans around the world to join us for the launch of Xbox One, beginning on Nov. 21 as we count down the final hours to the launch of Xbox One,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of marketing and strategy for Xbox. “Xbox One will be the biggest launch in the history of Xbox, and we can’t wait to celebrate with our fans.”