Microsoft is looking to steal some of the PS3's launch thunder (not that Sony isn't do a fine job of borking it up themselves) in Japan by releasing the Core version of its Xbox 360 console on November 2, just a few days before the PS3's launch. Right now, only the Premium edition (the "real" one) is available in Japan, which costs about $324 and all of 24 people have purchased. The Core will retail for $255, but won't include all the same goodies that the Premium offers, like a hard drive and headset. The Core will be approximately half the price of the PlayStation 3.
While the Core may be, well, crippled, it will be bundled with two games, Project Gotham Racing 3 and Ninety-Nine Nights, further whetting Japanese gamers' appetites.
Microsoft will continue to sell the Premium edition of the Xbox 360 even after the Core's release.
Microsoft to launch cheaper Xbox 360 in Japan [Digital World Tokyo]