LEAD: Microsoft's Xbox 360 debuts in Japan+
(Japan Economic Newswire)TOKYO, Dec. 10_(Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING INFO IN 3RD-4TH GRAFS)
Microsoft Corp. started selling the next-generation video game console, Xbox 360, in Japan on Saturday ahead of its two major Japanese peers, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Nintendo Co., which plan to launch their advanced products next year.
The world's largest software maker held a commemorative event in Tokyo's Shibuya district on Saturday morning.
About 200 people gathered and joined in a 10-second countdown to 7 a.m., the time of the product launch, and cheered when an image of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates popped up at zero on displays set up at the venue of the event.
"I work in the video creation industry and am interested in Hi-vision," said a 22-year-old man from Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, who was first in line to buy the Xbox 360, which features enhanced video quality. "I'll play with it right after I go home."
Microsoft also put on sale six high-definition software titles for use in the Xbox console, which carries a price tag of 39,795 yen.
The company has more than 2 million online members worldwide it has amassed through sales of conventional Xbox machines.
The Xbox 360 debuted Nov. 22 in North America. It soon met with a lawsuit, however.
A Chicago man who bought the Xbox 360 has sued Microsoft, saying the new video game console has a design flaw that causes it to overheat and freeze up.
He reportedly claims that in Microsoft's bid to gain a share in the $25 billion global video game market, the company was so intent on releasing the Xbox 360 before competing next-generation machines from Sony and Nintendo that it sold a "defectively designed" product.
A Microsoft spokesman says the number of flaws is limited and that the company is ready to respond quickly should any flaw occurs.
Sony and Nintendo are scheduled to launch the PlayStation 3 and Revolution machines, respectively, after next spring.
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