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Xbox One release date announced, setting up brawl with Sony's PS4

XBox One Getty Images.JPG
PS4 Getty.JPGAfter years of skirmishes, Microsoft's Xbox is finally set to go head-to-head with Sony's Playstation on one of the biggest days in a gaming console's life: its release date.

Microsoft this morning announced that the Xbox One, its latest iteration of its highly successful gaming system, will hit store shelves (albeit briefly) on Nov. 22.

That's a week after Sony's Playstation 4 is released, on Nov. 15.

Such a tight release schedule — particularly before the crucial Black Friday kick-off to the holiday shopping season — bodes for an intense battle between the tech giants for consumer dollars this year.

In the past, the companies have kept their release dates apart by a year or more. But more recently they faced pressure to keep consumers interested in buying bulky and costly systems that are tethered to their TVs at a time when gamers have flocked to inexpensive mobile offerings like "Angry Birds" for Apple's iPhone or Samsung's Galaxy devices.

Microsoft's announcement today is the latest in a series of headline grabbers that started with chief executive Steve Ballmer's announcement that he will retire and continued with Tuesday's news that the PC maker is buying mobile phone maker Nokia for $7.2 billion.

The Xbox One is set to retail at $499 and will be available in 13 countries, including the U.S., on Nov. 22. The Playstation 4 will cost $399 when it launches in the U.S. on Nov. 15. It will then bow in European countries in Nov. 29.

Still, good luck finding either machine come launch date. Retailers are reporting that they have sold-out of their allotted pre-orders for Xbox One, although Microsoft says it has responded by ramping up production of the devices, Bloomberg News reports.


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