Babbages and Electronics Boutique will invite gamers to sign up on their Web sites to purchase an Xbox, instead of waiting until Nov. 8 when it goes on sale in stores.
Babbages' site offers consumers several different product and software bundles to choose from, ranging from a $599 package, including the console, three game titles and peripherals, to a $1,199 bundle that comes with the console, peripherals and 14 titles.
The console, by itself, is $299, comparable to Sony Computer Entertainment America's PlayStation 2 machine. Xbox software titles are expected to be around $40 to $50 apiece.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said it plans to make 600,000 to 800,000 units available on launch day and ship 1.5 million units by year's end. -- Tobi Elkin
Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.