Microsoft Sets Xbox Debut

Microsoft Corp. set its long-awaited launch date for its superhyped Xbox for Nov. 8 and put a suggested retail price on the high-tech game console at $299, exactly what Sony Corp. sells its PlayStation 2 for.

Speaking at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft executives also unveiled a slew of relationships with gamemakers and moviemakers, including Warner Bros. That deal includes three Microsoft-published Xbox games based on Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.,” the highly anticipated June 29 sci-fi release.

“I wanted the games that will be inspired by ‘A.I.’ to be creative and groundbreaking,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Microsoft really understands the ‘A.I.’ concept and presented me with a series of game scenarios that were out of this world.”

Not to be too significantly upstaged, Nintendo announced Wednesday the release date of its next-generation game console, the GameCube, which will hit stores Nov. 5, three days before Xbox. There is no word yet, though, on GameCube pricing.