Next Friday Microsoft will release the Xbox One worldwide. The next-gen console's launch will be accompanied by special celebrations and over 10,000 midnight store openings.
Microsoft says that the "ultimate midnight celebration" will be taking place at Times Square in New York City. The first 1,000 in line at the Best Buy Theater who purchase either an Xbox One or an Xbox One game will be able to attend a performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The event will also have hands-on demos of XB1 launch titles like Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse and Dead Rising 3. The special guests in attendance include developers and Stallion83, the player with a 950,000+ Gamerscore. I'm sure you'll have a very lively discussion with him.
YOU: Hey, are you guy with the highest Gamerscore?
STALLION83: Yep, that's me.
The other, non-ultimate celebration in the United States will be held at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. The LA event will have demo kiosks as well. Plus, the first 500 gamers who show up to buy something Xbox One-related will be invited to a deadmau5 concert.
You can pre-purchase your Xbox One and games starting at 8 a.m. in NYC and 10 a.m. in LA. Getting your purchases in before the madness begins would be a good idea. I mean, Times Square is a clusterfuck even during normal hours. The launch events will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern or 6 p.m. Pacific.
Other countries throughout the world are hosting events as well. The launch night will officially begin with parties at Shed 10 in Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney Harbour in Australia. London, Berlin, Paris, and Vienna will each host their own events as well. The colossal Xbox One that's been touring throughout Canada will make its final stop in Toronto on launch night.
Retailers across the world are hosting smaller midnight launches. Participating chains include Best Buy, EB Games, FNAC, Gameans, GameStop, Media Mrkt, Sam’s Club, Saturn, GAME and Tesco. In most cases, they're just selling Xbox Ones and games without any sort of ceremony. However, some locations will have giveaways and other entertainment events. For example, six Microsoft stores are holding Killer Instinct tournaments. You can find details on the tournaments here.
Xbox One will be available in 13 countries on Friday. The console will spread to Asia and eight other European countries in 2014.