November 19, 2005 6:00 AM PST

How to score an Xbox

If you need to find Joey Nelson at dawn on Tuesday morning, your best bet is a Best Buy near Los Angeles.

Like thousands of videogame enthusiasts around the country, Nelson--a 23-year-old quality assurance tester--will be waiting for the store to open so he can get his hands on an Xbox 360. The Microsoft game console will finally, after months of hype, go on sale just after midnight Tuesday.

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Video: Gamers spend long day in Palmdale
Microsoft launches Xbox in the desert.

And while those with a little patience will likely be able to get Xboxes in the days or weeks following Tuesday's official launch, it's the threat of shortages that's drawing people like Nelson to early-morning lines.

"It seems like if I don't get it on day one, I might have to wait awhile," said Nelson,

In fact, there are countless ways that would-be Xbox purchasers can score one of the hot consoles, regardless of whether they want the $399 premium machine--replete with a wireless controller, a headset, a remote and an external hard drive--or the $299 "core" unit.

Several thousand hard-core players will have the first opportunity to buy one of the consoles at a 36-hour launch party to be held starting Sunday evening in Palmdale, Calif., on the edge of the Mojave Desert. There, invite-only attendees will be able to buy their Xboxes beginning at 8 p.m. Monday night, Microsoft said.

Listen up

Microsoft launches Xbox 360
Gamespot's Ryan MacDonald talked with Microsoft's top Xbox marketing man, Peter Moore.
Listen now... (7.1MB mp3)

For those unable to attend the Palmdale event, there will be more than 15,000 retailers carrying the new Xboxes, said David Hufford, Microsoft's director of Xbox product marketing. And at least 4,500 of them will be opening their doors at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Many retailers say they are expecting walk-up interest to exceed the number of Xboxes for sale on Tuesday. But not all retailers say they expect a problem.

"We're not aware of any shortages," said Karen Burk, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, the country's largest chain of retail stores. "We're anticipating being able to meet the demand."

For those retailers that do expect more demand than supply, like Toys 'R' Us, Circuit City and CompUSA, early-morning visitors should expect long lines and systems designed to notify those in line whether they actually have a chance at getting an Xbox or not.

"The units we have in each store will be sold on a first-come/first-served basis," said Amanda Tate, a Circuit City spokesperson. "This is definitely a hotly anticipated item, so we are expecting demand to outstrip supply. We would definitely not be surprised to see lines outside the stores prior to opening."

Katie Means, a spokesperson for CompUSA, explained that those in line at her company's stores will be given vouchers guaranteeing the right to buy an Xbox. Until the vouchers run out, that is.

CONTINUED: Off the line, onto 747s…
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External Drive?
I thought that the premium kit was an internal drive. That's what the design intent was going some months back and this is the first I've noticed it was an external drive.

Of course such a drive is easy to add via USB and really elimintes the need to get the MS included drive when you can use an existing USB drive of your choice.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
step backwards?
are MS taking a step backwards by omitting an internal hdd? one of X-Box's selling points was that it came with a hdd fitted, which also meant developers could make games with that in mind. it was touted as a reason for X-Box being better than PS2. however by omitting this feature AND sticking to the current generation of DVD format they are severely limiting the potential of their console.they can throw as much power into it as they want but with such tight limits on space games developers may have to resort to multiple discs to fit everything on, something that hasn't happened since the PS1 days!
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
Not quite.
Yes the drive is external and not a necessity to play games on the console, but I highly doubt Microsoft will let us use the 'USB drive of your choice'.

Unfortunately, I expect some kind of driver or hardware lock in place that stops the 360 from recognising and using a non-360 external drive.

The only major plus I can see with the external drive is that 6 months down the line, or when 20GB is just nowhere near enough, you can upgrade the drive capacity by swapping in a bigger drive. No doubt Microsoft will exploit this, and thats probably one of the reasons for using such a small drive in the first place.
Posted by Jamie314 (69 comments )
Link Flag
It is an internal drive, but it is removable.
Posted by cturkin (59 comments )
Link Flag
Doesn't Really impress me...
For some reason, the xbox360 doesn't impress me. I've played the little demos they have and seen some videos of some games yet to be released, but graphics wise, it doesn't seem like a huge leap. The PlayStation 3 graphics look a bit better in my opinion.

And i wonder how long people will wait for more xbox360s when all are sold out because of the short supply. If they have to wait too long, and more press and announcements and hype build up for PS3 (and the price is right) people might decide to wait a few months for that instead.

but that's just my biased opinion :)
Posted by nyte3k (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Xbox 360 isn't all that impressive yet. But keep in mind everything you've seen for PS3 is FMV.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Not True
First off look at the graphics for Condemned...the game looks great and wait for Splinter Cell's footage.
Second all the CGi videos that were shown for PS3 were exactly that CGI. It's a known fact that all the footage shown wasn't even running on the ps3 but was created and shown on PCs. How can you say the PS3 looks better when there hasn't been anything shown for it.

The X360 has live....what console you know comes close to live.
Posted by kingofgods (16 comments )
Link Flag
When all is said and done, graphics is only a distraction. Great games can have outstanding graphics or it can have oor graphics and it will still be a great game.

A crap game is crap regardless of the quality of the graphics.

In the end graphics are eye-candy.

So far, as is typical with concoles, the games for the new XBox might look decent but appear to be mediocre at best.

Of course, the hardcore console crowd seems to think graphics are the only thing that matters.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
No Problem....
.. I have no interest in the Xbox, so I'll just step aside and watch the
lemmings run.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have no interest in the iPod, so I'll just step aside and watch the
lemmings get taken to the slaughter house.
Posted by SystemsJunky (409 comments )
Link Flag
That was a good game
Lemmings, that.

You played it, Earl? Might be your kind of game.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
lemmings run
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
It's obvious where to go to get an xbox without standing in line at 12:01 or getting on some wait list: eBay. It's like paying somebody to stand in line for you. Often I wonder why MS doesn't just auction these things off--risks angering the fans, I suppose.
Posted by (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Holy Smoke...
Can you believe what folks are selling (and getting) for Xbox 360 on eBay?

Buy it Now for $5000 !!! and others (One seller wants $40,000 for 100 units...)

Should M$ be regulating this? Nah...after all...its all about money.

(funny, walked into a desolate Walmart and got a $400 unit...wonder if I should eBay it for double?)
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Link Flag
if this series xBox needs to be patched...
...and upgraded as fast as windows, it'll be on sale begging $50 coming Jan 2.:p
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another MAC user
Nobody makes anyone buy Microsoft products.
The first XBOX rocks! I bet that XBOX 360 is 100 times better.
If you don't like Microsoft, that great, but quit crying. Run back to your MAC and feel safe.
Posted by radimage (9 comments )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart, Costoc, Best Buy ALL sold out
I can't believe Wal-Mart would say they would be able to meet demand - my local store got 14 that were gone instantly. Ebay is the only place: expect to pay over 1500 bucks...for now.
Posted by BartleyF (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
can't believe
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Thunder Johny (200 comments )
Link Flag
Where's the XBOX? Where's the beef???
Don't be surprised if you here an annoucment for a re-call next week or the following week. Articles on the net are saying tons of people are experiencing problems with their XBOXs- too bad if they bought a $1800 HDTV set just to play a game and the XBOX catches on fire!!!
Posted by lrd123 (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go xbox!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by 208774626618253979477959487856 (176 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another useless link
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag

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