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X Day arrives
Microsoft's Xbox is now in stores. Should you get in line with the others? Reviews, games and more.
November 22, 2005: 5:05 PM EST
Photo GallerylaunchSee more photos
Rejected Xbox designs
After the endless jokes about the size and heft of the original Xbox, Microsoft did a complete redesign. Here are some of the rejected early designs. (See gallery)
Photo GallerylaunchSee more photos
Video game guide 2005
Xbox? PlayStation? Nintendo? CNN/Money tells you the best choices for all the systems. (full story)
GAMES FOR THE XBOX 360
Perfect Dark Zero
Talk about killer apps: This sci-fi shooter features dazzling graphics, multiplayer game play, and a very lethal heroine. ($50, Microsoft Games)
Peter Jackson's King Kong
The Lord of the Rings director had a hand in making sure this videogame apes his new movie faithfully. T. Rex rules! ($60, Ubisoft)
FIFA Soccer 06: Road to World Cup
The most realistic simulation yet of the world's most popular sport, celebrating next year's World Cup. ($60, Electronic Arts)
Call of Duty 2
A World War II shooter enhanced with new artificial intelligence. Throw a grenade and the German enemy ducks for cover. ($60, Activision)

NEW YORK (CNNmoney.com) - The centerpiece of Microsoft's strategy to take over the living room hit stores Tuesday.

The Xbox 360 kicks off the next generation for the video game industry and the stakes have never been higher. Microsoft lost an estimated $4 billion on the original Xbox, but hopes to regain those losses and steal back some of Sony's marketshare this time around. Should you buy one now? Wait for discounts? Hang onto your cash until the PS3 debuts in 2006?

Here are the reviews and game descriptions you need to help you decide what to do with your hard-earned credit.

For more coverage of holiday tech buys, from games to robots, visit our Tech Gift Guide.

And whatever system you play on, we've got your best game choices in our 2005 Game Guide.

Get in line

Hundreds of gamers camped out in front of stores, braving the cold, to be among the first to get their hands on the new video game console, designed to offer near-photo-realistic graphics, play music and video and link up gaming communities over the Internet.

Will the video game fans think the Xbox 360 is worth the wait? Read about waiting for Xbox in the rain.

The game was already sold out at some retailers by midday Tuesday. (Full story)

Xbox 360 on eBay? $3,000 and up

As retailers sell out, Internet auctions of Microsoft's new console are heating up. The bidding's only likely to escalate as shortages (and the inevitable media hype surrounding them) continue. (Full story)

Hardware reviews

Playing for keeps

By Peter Lewis, FORTUNE senior editor

Despite a relatively steep pricetag of $400 for the complete hardware package, an initially sparse selection of new games at a typical hit of $50 each, requirement of a broadband Internet connection, and online fees that can be as much as $8 a month, we expect the Xbox 360 to be the techie toy of choice for gamers this holiday season.

Read the review.

Xbox 360: Good, but not great

By Chris Morris, CNN/Money director of content development

For gaming's most enthusiastic fans, the question of whether to get an Xbox 360 was answered long ago. It would be the first entry in the next generation and a status symbol amongst their friends. But is there a reason for the rest of the world -- gaming or otherwise -- to rush stores?

The short answer: Not on Day One. Read the review.

What about the games?

By Chris Morris, CNN/Money director of content development

While the 360 certainly has one of the broader range of titles of any new gaming system in over 10 years, it lacks a rallying point - a game that defines the system's potential and breaks new boundaries of fun. There are, however, some entertaining games that will release alongside Microsoft's new console on Tuesday.

Read about them here.

Clash of the titans

Will Microsoft's gamble pay off?

By Chris Morris, CNN/Money director of content development

After being a year behind with the original Xbox, Microsoft is now a year ahead of its competitors. The big question is: Will this give it an advantage over Sony and Nintendo? Publishers and analysts say yes, but others aren't so sure.

Could the Xbox 360 help Microsoft replace Sony as the overall market leader? Read about Microsoft's $4 billion question.

Should you wait for the PS3?

The PS3, scheduled to be introduced in Japan in mid-2006 and in the U.S. a few months later, is expected to be technically more advanced than the Xbox 360 in many ways. It will include a high-definition DVD player. It's based on a bodaciously powerful Cell processor developed by IBM and Toshiba, which appears to outmuscle the IBM PowerPC custom chip used in Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Sony has also tapped nVidia to supply the graphics engine in the PS3, and it's going to be a whopper, with nearly double the rendering power of the top graphics card that nVidia now supplies to PC gaming enthusiasts.

Fancy hardware doesn't mean anything, though, if the games aren't there. Read the gear preview from FORTUNE.

'This time, it's personal'

For Microsoft, this week's launch of the Xbox 360 is the biggest thing since Windows 95. For the man leading the charge, it's also a chance for revenge against Sony's PlayStation mastermind. But Microsoft's first-mover strategy in this latest round of console combat is risky. No one knows that better than Peter Moore, who helped launch an acclaimed game system six years ago -- only to see it crushed by the PlayStation 2.

Read about Moore's quest, from Business 2.0.  Top of page

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