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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 02:00 GMT
No party like an Xbox party
Daniel and Jordanna Marcina
Young video game fans were keen to play Xbox
As the Xbox goes on sale across Europe BBC News Online reports on the official launch party in Oxford Street, London.

The Xbox proved much in demand as it went on sale at midnight on Wednesday.

Video game fans who had queued for hours were handing over their money to buy the Microsoft machine.

Gary Marshall, from Wiltshire, said he had to have the machine on day one.

"It's clearly the best games console out. I was not sure whether to wait for a Gamecube but in the end I decided I had to have an Xbox."

Daniel Mancina and Jonathan Ross
Daniel Mancina shows Jonathan Ross how to play
Earlier the crowds had been entertained by TV presenter Jonathan Ross, who challenged fans to a game of hand-to-hand video combat on the game Dead or Alive 3.


His undefeated status lasted until 11-year-old Jordanna Mancina beat him in a humiliatingly one-sided battle.

She had earlier told BBC News Online: "I don't get a chance to play the games console at home because my brother won't let me."

Nintendo's GameCube
Nintendo's GameCube will be the next to be launched
Thirteen-year-old Daniel Mancina had been queuing with his mother and sister for three hours.

"It's the most powerful console out, with the best graphics and I can't wait to play it," he said.

His sister was rewarded for her game exploits with a free Xbox and the entire family went home happy.

Ross told the crowd of invited guests: "It gives me great pleasure and a great big cheque to be here to launch Xbox."

Laser X

His cynicism aside there was genuine excitement about the launch of the machine and an early Christmas theme.

A giant laser "X" crossed the skies in Oxford Street and elves handed out mince pies to those waiting in the cold.

There were plenty of Xboxes on hand on which to try out the new games and early buyers of the machine were handed an early Christmas present - a free game for their new machines.

All along Oxford Street stores had opened at midnight to sell the machine and as the hours ticked by large numbers of console fans were seen clutching their new purchases and climbing on late buses home.

Video games
Console wars, broadband and interactivity
See also:

14 Mar 02 | New Media
Xbox launches across Europe
13 Mar 02 | Reviews
Xbox means business
07 Mar 02 | New Media
Microsoft to fix Xbox 'problems'
22 Feb 02 | New Media
Hundreds queue for Xbox in Japan
14 Nov 01 | New Media
Microsoft boxes clever
15 Nov 01 | New Media
Microsoft unleashes Xbox
14 Nov 01 | New Media
Console wars hot up
14 Nov 01 | New Media
Lifting the lid on Xbox
07 Mar 02 | New Media
Online future for PlayStation 2
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