March 14th will see Microsoft launch their Xbox console in Europe - the console launched in America last November, and in Japan last month.


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The company say that gaming will change for ever from March 14th, and seeing that Xbox is the most powerful console yet, with an Intel 733Mhz processor, built in 8Gb hard drive, a broadband adapter, and can shift an astonishing 116.5 million polygons per second, it would seem that their claim is justified.

Launch day line-up's on consoles have improved with each console that has been released, and Microsoft appear to have the biggest line-up yet, with games covering the majority of genres, from the much talked about sci-fi shooter Halo, to party games such as Fusion Frenzy, and all new rally racer RalliSport Challenge.

A number of titles will be "only on Xbox", and Microsoft have worked hard with developers to ensure that the added features of the machine, such as the processor power and built in hard-drive, are used to their fullest potential. The launch sees a number of the Xbox exclusive titles, including:

Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
screenForget about being fixed to pre-defined courses, because in Amped you're able to go where you want, as you take to the slopes and jumps in freestyle snowboarding. Perform as many tricks as you can, with pro snowboarders, helped along the way with more than 50 tracks pumping out a wide range of music. Buy it at Amazon


Blood Wake
screenPlaying as a naval lieutenant, you'll have to overthrow the devious army and restore order to the land. Blood Wake features numerous missions, such as defending convoys, collecting "payments" and attacking enemy cargo ships. Buy it at Amazon


Fusion Frenzy
screenParty gaming, which takes place in 6 arenas with more than 45 minigames, all set in a fully dynamic 3D world, which constantly changes providing for unique game playing experience every time. Buy it at Amazon


Halo
screenOne of the most hyped Xbox titles, and sure to be a big seller is Halo, a futuristic sci-fi first person shooter set on the ring shaped planet called Halo. Up to 16 players can play on 4 Xbox's linked together via link up cables or a LAN, and play is also possible online via the broadband network. Buy it at Amazon


Jet Set Radio Future
screenSega's follow-up to one of their most successful Dreamcast titles, featuring all new graphics which give a darker and harder feel to the city. Extra features have been added, along with improved gameplay. Buy it at Amazon


Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
screenUnique gameplay and humour make up one of Xbox's more novel launch titles. Players get to control wheelchair-bound hero Munch, and Abe from previous Oddworld games. Buy it at Amazon


Project Gotham Racing
screenBizarre Creations upgrade to the Dreamcast's Metropolis Street Racer, with an added city in the form of New York, which now gives you more than 300 circuits and over 100 individual challenges. Players are awarded their score in the form of Kudos points, and it's all about how you drive fast, and the style you do it with. Buy it at Amazon


RalliSport Challenge
screenEdge of the drivers seat action in more than 25 fully licensed cars. RalliSport Challenge features some of the most impressive visuals ever seen in a rally game, including swaying trees, people and animals running to avoid your car's path, and realistic particle effects as you speed through a wide variety of terrain types. Buy it at Amazon


The remaining Xbox launch titles, all of which are non-exclusive, are: Batman: Vengeance, Dark Summit, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX II, Dead of Alive 3, Mad Dash Racing, Max Payne, NBA Live 2002, NHL 2002, NHL Hitz 2002, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Transworld Surf, Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions.


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Xbox totally sold out in the USA during the launch period, and pre-order figures were strong in both America and Japan, so it would seem wise to pre order at either your local high street retailer, or online at somewhere like Amazon.co.uk who have the Xbox Console, along with the Mayhem Bundle, and Adrenaline Bundle available to pre-order for delivery on the launch day.

Microsoft haven't announced a launch day shipment figure for the UK, and have instead given a Europe-wide "launch period" total, which includes weekly replenishments from their Hungarian factory - the first console factory to ever be based in Europe. Will there be shortages? Quite possibly, as Xbox really does have a lot going for it - if you don't want to miss out on owning one at launch, then you should seriously consider pre-ordering.

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