Avid gamers have queued overnight in the US to be the first to get their hands on Microsoft's new games console, the Xbox 360.
Peter Gonzalez was one of the first to snag an Xbox 360
Hundreds of stores opened at midnight to satisfy fans who waited for hours.
The curvy white and silver Xbox 360 marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of video games.
The machine is the first next generation console to go on sale, promising high definition graphics and hefty computing power.
Power at a price
One of the first to buy an Xbox 360 was 19-year-old Peter Gonzalez from Manhattan, who had waited nearly 30 hours at a local store.
"I feel amazing. It's going to be worth it," said the college student, who planned to stay up all night playing games before going to class in the morning.
Microsoft is offering two versions of the Xbox 360 - a basic system which costs $299 (£209 in the UK) and a fully loaded model retailing for $399 (£279).
Most gamers are expected to opt for the more expensive system, which includes a removable hard drive needed to play older Xbox games.
XBOX 360 SPECS
Three IBM PowerPC-based 3.2 GHz cores
One teraflop overall system floating-point performance
ATI graphics chip with 10MB of embedded DRAM
512MB of 700MHz GDDR3 RAM memory
Detachable 20GB hard drive
Built-in Ethernet port
Games supported at 16:9, 720p and 1080i, anti-aliasing
Streams media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP PCs
Supports up to four wireless controllers
At one store in New York, self-confessed hardcore gamers expressed disappointment when supplies of the top end system ran out.
"It's like buying a car without the engine," said 29-year-old Eddie Buist.
Sony and Nintendo are planning to unleash their next gen consoles during 2006, giving Microsoft an edge over its rivals.
The software giant is virtually tied with Nintendo for second place, way behind Sony, in a games market worth $25 billion globally.
Microsoft has ambitious plans for its new machine. It said it expects to ship up to three million 360s worldwide within 90 days.
But the company has admitted that the worldwide launch of the console could mean shortages in the run-up to Christmas.
The console is due to hit Europe on 2 December and Japan on 10 December and some retailers are also warning about limited supplies.
While most of the early buyers will be attracted to the photo-realistic graphics of the games, the Xbox 360 is more than just about games
The console can play music, display photos and show DVDs, signalling Microsoft's aim to make the 360 the heart of the entertainment system in the home.
Bill Gates has his eye on the living room
"In the living room itself, Xbox 360 is our centerpiece and a product that redefines what goes on there," said Microsoft boss Bill Gates.
Mr Gates is looking to tie in Microsoft's online gaming service, Xbox Live, with its new online initiative called Windows Live.
Windows Live is designed to compete with similar online offerings from competitors such as Google and Yahoo.
"The PC and the Xbox are very complementary," said Mr Gates.