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Microsoft's advance in the world of gaming consoles begins officially just after midnight when its Xbox product goes on sale in America. New York's Toys "R" Us in Times Square will be the place where eager gamers can converge to start snapping them up.

Nintendo is set to launch its rival console, the GameCube, in North America on Sunday.

Microsoft's console costs $299. For those who don't want to interrupt their sleep patterns for the launch festivities, a list of brick and click retailers is available here.

Europe will only see the box arriving in March, with an anticipated retail price of £299 (titles expected to sell for $44.99). UK gamers can test the console earlier through Microsoft's Xbox Xperience roadshow.

Some of the major titles being punted for the platform include Halo, Dead or Alive 3 and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee (see a full list here). ®

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Xbox Official Site

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