Microsoft throwing global retail parties for Xbox One launch

More than 10,000 retail locations in 13 countries will open their doors at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 22 for the launch of Xbox One, according to Microsoft.

Selected events will be showcased in a live broadcast airing on Spike TV, Xbox.com and on Xbox Live. Large events are planned for major cities including New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Sydney.

"Today we invite millions of Xbox fans around the world to join us for the launch of Xbox One, beginning on November 21st as we count down the final hours to the launch of Xbox One," said Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi. "Xbox One will be the biggest launch in the history of Xbox and we can't wait to celebrate with our fans."

The launch officially kicks off in New Zealand where, in partnership with EB Games, Xbox will throw a party at Shed 10 in Auckland. In Australia, the Sydney Harbour is being lit up for the launch. Similar festivities are planned as stores open up around the world.

In Times Square in New York, customers will be treated to various entertainments, with freebies on offer to some waiting in lines. The first few hundred people to purchase an Xbox One or Xbox One game will be given access to musical concerts featuring well-known performers.

Xbox One is launching around the world in 13 markets, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria.

Microsoft has also announced plans to open its own retail outlets for contests and events for the launch. The company's U.S. retail stores are hosting midnight launch events in all of its stores including contests and cash prizes around driving game Forza Motorsport 5. Stores will open at 10 p.m. to allow customers to try out games before consoles go on sale at midnight.

In the Seattle, San Diego, Houston, Lone Tree, Colo., Burlington, Mass., and Orlando, Fla. stores, Killer Instinct tournaments are being held. Registration starts at 6 p.m. on the evening of Nov. 21 with the tournament kicking off at 8 p.m. The winner from each city will be flown to Florida. along with a guest to participate in a final at the new Jacksonville, Fla. Microsoft retail store opening.

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