By Jennifer Aaron
Microsoft's much-anticipated official Xbox 360 launch has been scheduled for April 26.
Microsoft is to launch the Xbox 360 in the UAE on April 26 and it will then become available in all other Gulf nations within seven months.
The Xbox 360 was previously only available on the 'grey market'. But from 26 April Microsoft will be given authorised distribution which means retailers will be able to gain access to customer services and proper support systems will be put in place.
The 20GB hard drive console is expected to retail at Dhs1,799.
Armagan Demir, head of entertainment and devices division for Microsoft Middle East said that the console will be available across all the other Gulf markets within seven months. He also added that gamers across the region will have access to a number of features and services provided by Microsoft.
"The official launch in the UAE will signify that gamers in the Middle East will not only have easy access to high-definition graphics, unparalleled online play and gripping digital entertainment features of the Xbox 360 but also the technical support, events, community and access to over 160 games that are available to gamers abroad," Demir.
The console uses customised IBM PowerPC CPU boasting three processing cores running at 3.2 GHZ each, offering two hardware threads, and an ATI graphics processor running at 500MHz.
Microsoft claims that many of the older games can be played on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft will also be launching Xbox 360 Elite, a revved up version of its new console, which has a 120 gigabyte hard drive and other features including a HDMI port and a high-definition cable by the year-end.
Dubai-based Pluto Derinton Games will be responsible for the distribution of Xbox consoles and high-definition games to major retailers in the UAE.