The launch of the Xbox 360 Core System, already sold in the United States and Europe, comes as Microsoft's Japanese unit competes with games console rivals Sony and Nintendo for market share.
The console is devoid of the 20-gigabyte hard disk drive and other accessories included in the standard version. It will be sold for 29,800 yen (255 dollars) in Japan, about 25 percent less than the standard version, Microsoft Japan said in a press release. "It is a product to satisfy the needs of customers who want to enjoy the Xbox 360 in a handy manner and at a handy price with the Xbox 360's core functions intact," the release said.
Sony said on Wednesday the PlayStation 3 games console will go on sale in November in the United States and Japan, but fewer units than originally planned would be available because of a production delay.
Nintendo plans to launch its game console, called "Wii", by the end of the year priced at around 25,000 yen (215 dollars). Japenese sales of the Xbox 360, which was launched last December, reached 158,654 units by September 3 while global sales topped five million units, the business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Friday, quoting data from game marketing firm Enterbrain.