Microsoft said on Thursday that it would launch the advanced version of its Xbox 360 game console, Xbox 360 Elite, on October 11 in Japan, a country where sales of its game gear trail far behind rival machines from Nintendo and Sony.
The Elite's 120-gigabyte hard drive, six times bigger than the regular Xbox 360's hard drive and twice as big as that of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, can store thousands of songs as well as a library of high-definition TV shows, movies and arcade games. It is set to sell for 47,800 yen ($390), compared with $243 for the most basic version of the Xbox 360.
Although popular in the United States, the Xbox 360 has seen slow sales in Japan. Microsoft sold 122,565 of the consoles in the first half of this year in Japan, the home turf of Sony and Nintendo, according to data from game magazine publisher Enterbrain.
Nintendo sold 1.78 million units of its Wii, and Sony sold 503,554 of its PS3 consoles during the same period.
The basic model of the PS3 sells for $408 in Japan, while the Wii sells for half that amount.
The Xbox 360 Elite is already sold in North America for $480.