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Xbox 360 Elite to launch in Japan

Microsoft said on Thursday it would launch the advanced version of its Xbox 360 game console  on October 11 in Japan.
Undated handout photo shows Xbox 360 Elite
Xbox 360 Elite has a 120 gigabyte hard drive and other features including a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port and a high-definition cable.Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday it would launch the advanced version of its Xbox 360 game console, Xbox 360 Elite, on October 11 in Japan, a country where sales of its game gear trail far behind rival machines from Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Sony Corp.

The Elite's 120-gigabyte hard drive, six times bigger than the regular Xbox 360's hard drive and twice as big as that of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, can store thousands of songs as well as a library of high-definition TV shows, movies and arcade games.

It will sell for 47,800 yen ($390), compared with 29,800 yen for the most basic version of the Xbox 360.

Although popular in the United States, the Xbox 360 has seen slow sales in Japan.  Microsoft sold 122,565 of the consoles in the first half of this year in Japan, the home turf of Sony and Nintendo, according to data from game magazine publisher Enterbrain.

Nintendo sold 1.78 million units of its Wii and Sony sold 503,554 of its PS3 consoles during the same period.

The basic model of the PS3 sells for 49,980 yen in Japan, while the Wii sells for half that.

The Xbox 360 Elite is already sold in North America for $480.

(MSNBC.com is a Microsoft - NBC Universal joint venture.)