Microsoft has gone to great lengths to capture the attention of the world for the launch of its next generation console, the Xbox One. Launch parties hosted at midnight in various locations around the world rung in the 22nd of November, and allowed queuing gamers to get their hands on their preordered consoles. From London to New York, Milan to Sydney; the Xbox One made its mark on many cities in the 13 launch countries within which the gaming machine is now available.
Australia and New Zealand were the countries first able to enjoy the Xbox One, with their respective time zones reaching midnight first. In Australia a three dimensional Xbox One water projection of the official logo appeared within Sydney Harbour, and Master Chief made an appearance to ensure that the first Xbox One console was delivered safe and sound. The queuing fans were treated to a performance from The Presents in an event designed to celebrate the launch.
Daniel Livingstone was the lucky customer to receive the first console in New Zealand, once it was released from its watery guardians in the SEA LIFE Aquarium’s shark tank. The midnight event in this country was held at Auckland’s Shed 10, where hundreds of fans were able to get some hands on experience with the new console. Auckland went one step further, illuminating its Sky Tower in green to mark the occasion.
Europe was the next continent to enjoy Microsoft’s launch events with celebrations in Spain and in Paris, France, where 1,200 fans, media, celebrities and partners gathered to celebrate the next gen console’s launch. Gamers took to demo consoles for a first experience playing games such as Fifa, and zombies from the release title Dead Rising 3 moaned and groaned their way around the excited customers. Germany celebrated too with its own launch party in Berlin. Many a celebrity made an appearance at a green carpet show to start the event off, before the 400 plus guests enjoyed a performance from DJs Lexy and K-Paul.
In the United Kingdom the iconic Leicester Square was rebranded to Xbox One Square, featuring a specially constructed Xbox stage which was to feature live performances from Sway, Katy B and Plan B. There were zombies in abundance, along with actors dressed as Roman soldiers to celebrate the release of the critically acclaimed Ryse: Son of Rome. Forza made its presence known as well, with a supercar prominently placed on a circular stage. A 10,000 square foot pop-up GAME store gave the crowds access to a gaming zone to try out some of the new titles.
Europe’s launch continued with gamers in Dublin, Ireland ready at midnight to get their hands on the Xbox One. The console was launched when the Republic or Ireland’s football captain Robbie Keane met with the nation’s media. Vienna in Austria opted for a ‘Happy New Gen’ countdown party to toast in the new console to a firework display including the Xbox One logo. Milan, Italy hosted a big party with a dramatic Xbox One reveal, and performances from singer Skin and rapper Emis Killa.
As midnight struck in North America the festivities continued, with big parties in New York and Los Angeles. New York’s Time Square hosted what it dubbed ‘the ultimate launch party’, packed full of celebrity performances with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis headlining for the crowds. Armored trucks brought the Xbox One consoles to the city of New York, amidst appearances from yet more zombies, Roman soldiers and beautiful and exotic cars from Forza Motorsport 5.
Priced at $499 in the US, £429 in the UK and 499 Euros in Europe, the Xbox One is now available in all 13 launch countries. If you haven’t pre-ordered your console then you may struggle to get your hands on one for a few weeks as demand has soared for both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. No doubt both companies will be working to release more consoles ready for Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled on your favorite website or store for new stock.
Did you make it to any of the Xbox One launch events? Do you already have your next generation console? Let us know your own stories in the comments below.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 11/22/2013