Marketer Says Up to 800,000 Units Expected Nov. 15

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NEW YORK ( -- Microsoft Corp. has postponed the launch of its Xbox video-game console from Nov. 8 to Nov. 15.

The software giant said the extra week will allow it to have more units available at retail locations on launch day.

Executives have said they expect to have between 600,000 and 800,000 of the $299 consoles available at launch. While some ads have already begun appearing in gaming magazines, a broader print ad effort will appear in November publications on newsstands Oct. 18.

The teaser-style ads, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, feature the Xbox and marketing partner Tricon Restaurant Group's Taco Bell chain, and flagship titles like "Halo" and "Munch's Oddysee." The butterfly icon of Microsoft's MSN Internet portal also appears. TV spots will break in November.

The effort is part of a $500 million global marketing push for the console, Microsoft's maiden voyage into console gaming.

Nintendo Corp.'s GameCube, its latest entry into the video-game console market, debuts Nov. 18, three days after the Xbox. Edgy print ads for the $199 GameCube feature a naked man floating in a glass and metal cube.

The ads, by Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett, Chicago, are said to be an extreme departure from Nintendo's typically cartoonish and wholesome ad style.

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