The Xbox One will launch at midnight and, as with all good next-gen releases, there will be exclusive concerts held in New York City and Los Angeles to celebrate. The first 1,000 gamers in line who purchase an Xbox One will gain access to an exclusive concert, featuring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in New York and deadmau5 and 7Wallace in LA. For those that cannot make it, there will be a live stream beginning at 11 p.m. EST/8 p.m. PST.
Fans in New York had to line up at the Best Buy Theater, located at 1515 Broadway on Times Square, well before 8 a.m. Thursday to secure their new consoles. Gamers purchased the Xbox One at the time, but the actual console will be distributed at 12:01 a.m. EST on Friday, and the first 1,000 won a ticket to the Xbox One Countdown to Launch concert.
At Best Buy Theater, beginning at 9 p.m. EST, gamers can test out Microsoft's new console at several kiosks and enjoy a performance by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The first 2,000 people who purchased an Xbox One received two free games, "Powerstar Golf" and "Lococycle," and a six-month Xbox Live Gold membership. Microsoft is planning to have some fun in Times Square as a horde of "Dead Rising 3" zombies and "Forza" supercars will take over the area around the theater.
Los Angeles is hosting a similar event that's even more exclusive. The concert will feature performances by deadmau5 and 7Wallace and the first 500 fans in line to purchase an Xbox One will gain entry to the event. Fans must line up at Milk Studios-LA, located at 855 N. Cahuenga Blvd., and purchases will begin at 10 a.m. PST. The first 1,000 will receive the free game downloads and Xbox Live Gold membership.
NY and LA are not the only launch events planned by Microsoft. The company announced 10,000 "Midnight Madness" events around the world, including events in Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The Xbox One will be launched in 13 countries on Friday.
The early reviews indicate a strong start for the Xbox One, with many critics praising the console's controller, the Kinect's responsiveness and several launch titles. For the Xbox One, much like the PlayStation 4, it's all about the potential, and Microsoft hopes to make its new system the centerpiece of your living room.
Fans around the world can celebrate the release of Microsoft's new console via the "Xbox One Countdown to Launch" live stream. The show begins at 11 p.m. EST, 9 p.m. PST, and can be viewed at Spike TV, GameTrailers, Xbox.com and Xbox Live.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.