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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Xbox revamp hits Europe in summer
Xbox 360 elite
The Elite machine is capable of storing more high definition video
A revamped Xbox 360, designed to store and display high-definition video, will go on sale in Europe on 24 August.

The black Elite console has a 120GB hard drive and outputs high definition video through a digital connection.

Microsoft's Shane Kim said he did not think recent reports of faulty Xbox 360s would damage future sales.

Speaking ahead of the E3 games show, he added there were no plans for an Xbox 360 price cut, saying they were "very comfortable with the price".

"We are selling the Elite console as fast as we can make them," he said of the black Xbox 360, but was unable to give specific sales figures.

He said Microsoft felt no need to reduce prices in light of Sony's cut of $100 (50) from the cost of the 60GB PS3.

"Since our rivals launched last year, in the US we are neck and neck with the Wii and we are just about double the sales of PlayStation 3," he added.

Mr Kim, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, said he did not feel Sony had genuinely cut prices as the firm had maintained a $600 (300) price point for the 80GB PS3.

"We really feel like we are driving the next generation console market," he said.

Mr Kim assured consumers that the firm had taken steps to resolve concerns over many Xbox 360s being returned because of faults.

The firm has set aside more than $1bn (500m) to cover the cost of offering extended warranties.

'Remove concerns'

"It's been somewhat positive because we had been able to remove people's concerns and show that we are standing behind the product.

"Customers have responded very well - reaction has been neutral to positive."

Halo 3
A new Halo 3 trailer was shown

Microsoft also used the E3 press conference to reaffirm its commitment to a video download service for Xbox users in Canada and Europe.

"We're launching in UK and Ireland, France and Germany first and then rolling out to other countries as soon as we can," he said.

In the US, Xbox Lives' video marketplace offers more than 2,100 hours of content from 28 networks and studios, with nearly 500 hours of high definition content.

A Microsoft press conference in Santa Monica highlighted some of the key titles being launched on Xbox 360 this year, including Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

A new trailer for Halo 3 was shown, featuring some of the first video of the single-player campaign in action.

Microsoft also unveiled a "digital short film" made by Neill Blomkamp, who had been ear-marked for the stalled Halo movie, in conjunction with Peter Jackson's special effects wizards Weta Workshop and Origami Digital.

The company also trumpeted another title to move to the Xbox 360 after years of Nintendo and PlayStation exclusivity: Resident Evil 5 will make its debut on the console next year.

The award-winning first-person shooter Gears of Wars was also unveiled for Windows PCs.




SEE ALSO
Sony cuts Playstation price in US
09 Jul 07 |  Business
Microsoft facing $1bn Xbox bill
05 Jul 07 |  Business
Q&A: The Xbox 360
22 Nov 05 |  Technology

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