Xbox fans queued at games and electronics shops to be among the first to get their hands on Microsoft’s beefed-up system that extends beyond gaming to online films, music, social networking, and more.
A man in New Zealand, 24-year-old Dan Livingstone, became the first person in the world to officially own an Xbox One. He said he was immediately retreating for five days to play with it.
International time zones meant New Zealand was the first country to launch the console.
Australia was next in the global rollout. The distinctive Sydney Tower turned Xbox One green and another 3D projection beamed onto the water beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the midnight launch.
In California, people were also eager to get one of their own.
“It’s a big upgrade, a big change,” said 23-year-old Jonathan Guerrero, who staked out a spot at the front of the line at a Best Buy electronics shop in northern California 13 hours before the consoles went on sale a minute into Friday.
“You are jumping from ok to super great.”
Hassan Ali, 34, said he queued to get an Xbox One because he has an ideal television for the rich graphics pumped out by the console. He described his set as a 3D, HD, smart television with a 65in screen. “It’s kind of amazing that you can look at the game and it looks like real life,” the 34-year-old said.
Sony unleashed its new champion in the long-running console war last week, getting a slight jump on Microsoft heading into the prime Christmas season. The PS4 is released in Ireland on Nov 29, priced at €399.
The Xbox One, successor to the Xbox 360, retails in Ireland for around €500.
Analysts said it remained to be seen which of the next-generation consoles will prove more popular, noting that the lower price favours the PS4.
“If history has anything to say about it, core gamers tend to favour Sony,” said Brian Blau, research director at analyst firm Gartner.
“There is nothing I’ve seen to say that one platform is going to have an advantage over the other.”
Two men, aged 25 and 27, were robbed of top-of-the-range games consoles — just minutes after buying them.
The pair were among the first to get their hands on the new Microsoft Xbox One in Gloucester when it went on sale at midnight yesterday.
Police said the men had returned to their car in St Michael’s Square car park at around 12.15am and were loading the £429.99 (€514) consoles into the vehicle when they were assaulted. The 25-year- old suffered injuries to his face and the 27-year-old was knocked unconscious.
A force spokeswoman said “Inquiries are ongoing to find those responsible”.
“With demand still high for the Xbox One and the new Sony PS4 release next week, police are urging anyone planning to make a late-night trip to purchase one of the items to consider carrying the item in another bag, other than the one supplied by the shop, so it is not obvious as to what the bag contains.”