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Microsoft announces Xbox 360 launch party

Microsoft's inviting gamers from around the world to celebrate the launch of Xbox 360 with a two-day gaming party in the Mojave Desert.

Microsoft has announced details of a massive two-day gaming party in the Mojave Desert, USA, set to run from sunset on November 20th until midnight the following day - the point at which Xbox 360 goes on sale in North America.

This, Microsoft says, is the "Gamers' Paradise" alluded to in its Origen marketing campaign. The party, called Xbox 360: Zero Hour, will bring thousands of gamers and industry members together at an undisclosed location where they will be invited to try out the entire Xbox 360 launch line-up, as well as titles due out next year, on one of hundreds of console stations, and enjoy live entertainment including music from Californian rock-band Louis XIV.

Microsoft's Peter Moore and J Allard will be on hand as will leading developers and members of the Xbox team. "Our goal with the party is to reward the gamer by creating the ultimate Xbox 360 oasis," said Moore.

Other highlights will include 32-player Perfect Dark Zero hosted on Xbox Live, full access to the Xbox Live Arcade line-up, and demos of games including live play of Epic Games' Gears of War. There will also be exclusive giveaways including Zero Hour Xbox 360 faceplates.

Among the partygoers will be winners of a series of competitions hosted by www.origenxbox360.com, who will be flown from Europe to the US and receive "rock-star VIP treatment" including transport in a private jet from Santa Monica airport to the event.

Microsoft is also inviting the general public along. Up to 3,000 will be allowed to register for tickets on selected fan-sites - but will have to pay their own way to the Mojave Desert location.

"Gamers at 'Zero Hour' will have bragging rights to say 'I spent over 24 hours at the epicentre of the gaming universe, I was among the first generation of the next generation of gaming'," Moore added.

Xbox 360 goes on sale in the USA on November 22nd, in Europe on December 2nd and in Japan on December 10th.

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