At a gala event at the X05 trade show in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Amersterdam, Netherlands, Microsoft unveiled a healthy set of games that will launch alongside its next-generation Xbox 360 next month. The company says that the games announced thus far don't represent the complete list of titles that will ship this holiday season, however. The Xbox 360 launches simultaneously in North America, Japan, and Europe on November 22, 2005.

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"Xbox 360 is the world's most powerful high-definition video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games and the next generation of Xbox Live," said Robbie Bach, the president of the Entertainment and Devices Division and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "In addition, as the ultimate digital amplifier in the home, Xbox 360 will enable consumers to connect to digital cameras, portable music players and WindowsXP-based PCs to enjoy integrated entertainment experiences that simply can't be matched."

 

Microsoft expects there to be 15 to 20 games in the market for the Xbox 360 launch. Yesterday, the company revealed that Kameo: Elements of Power, Perfect Dark Zero, and Project Gotham Racing 3 will be among them. Other games announced at X05 include Crackdown, Gears of War, Too Human, Mass Effect, FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, Saints Row, Full Auto, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Superman Returns: The Videogame, Call of Duty 2, Castle Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 4, Quake 4, and MotoGP Ultimate Racing Technology (URT) 2006. Some of these titles will ship after the holiday season.

 

Analysts expect Microsoft to ship 2 million Xbox 360 units this year, a lofty number that is possible largely because the system's biggest competition, the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution, won't ship until 2006. With Xbox 360, Microsoft is reaching past the rabid hard core gaming crowd and embracing a more mainstream audience. Thus, the system offers a number of home networking and digital media features in addition to killer gaming hardware.