Press release – Xbox 360 Arrival Spawns Midnight Madness Frenzy:
Nov. 21, 2005 — In less than 24 hours, gamers and adrenaline junkies alike will converge on thousands of retail outlets to be among the first to purchase the Xbox 360™ next-generation video game and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp. Droves of dedicated fans are expected to line the streets as more than 4,500 retailers open their doors at 12:01 a.m. to answer the demand for the Xbox 360 console and 18 launch games, including “Perfect Dark Zero™,” “Project Gotham Racing® 3” and “Kameo™: Elements of Power™,” from Microsoft Game Studios.
More than 4,500 retailers will be holding midnight madness events. Best Buy, Microsoft’s retail partner for Xbox 360 launch events, also will open all its U.S. stores at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22. “Xbox 360 takes our customers’ gaming experience to new levels,” said Jill Hamburger, vice president of games at Best Buy. “Walk into any of our stores and you’ll feel the excitement — it’s a complete entertainment solution.”
The excitement is already being felt around the globe. More than 3,500 gamers from around the world descended on an Xbox 360 oasis in California’s Mojave Desert last night to celebrate the arrival of Xbox 360 at an exclusive launch party called Xbox 360: Zero Hour. Attendees are now engaged in more than 24 hours of Xbox 360 gameplay and tonight will have a chance to buy the console, launch games and gaming peripherals on site from Best Buy.
There’s more than you likely want to know about the Zero Hour party at Xbox.com and Yahoo! news photos also has some pictures.
Update: Todd Bishop notes:
Bill Gates is scheduled to appear Monday night at a Best Buy store in Bellevue in conjunction with the Xbox 360 launch. Among other things, he’ll play Xbox games against some of the customers there. After seeing Gates dominate Conan O’Brien in one car-racing game, Forza Motorsport, at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, my advice to whoever plays him is to choose something other than Project Gotham Racing 3.
He also points to this Flickr gallery of photos from Zero Hour attendees.