With less than a week to go until the Xbox 360 goes on sale in Japan, Microsoft has announced that the next-gen console will hit stores in other Asian countries beginning February next year.
According to Alan Bowman, the head of Asian Xbox operations, Korean gamers will be able to get their hands on the console from February 24th. The Xbox 360 will launch in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore a week later, on March 2nd.
That's despite the fact that there are already stock shortages in the US and Europe, where the console launched on November 22nd and December 2nd respectively. Bowman admitted that there was some debate as to whether international launches should be delayed in order to meet existing demand, telling Reuters: "Believe me, that conversation happened."
"We wanted to make sure within the first six months that we could get the 360 into all existing Xbox 1 markets. I'm very optimistic that demand is going to be significant. We're working very hard to keep supply up with demand," Bowman added.
Unlike Japanese consumers, who will only have the option to purchase the hard drive-bundled package when the Xbox 360 launches on Saturday, gamers in the rest of Asia will be able to choose from the core or premium systems - just like their US and European counterparts.
Prices have yet to be locked down, but Bowman said that they will be in line with the cost of the console in other territories. The Xbox 360 retails in the UK at GBP 209.99 for the core system, and GBP 279.99 for the premium system.