San Francisco - Gamers in more than a dozen countries started snapping up new-generation generation Xbox One consoles on Friday as Microsoft battled Sony to be at the heart of internet age home entertainment.
Keenly-awaited Xbox One consoles launched in more than a dozen countries including Australia, France, Britain, Brazil and the US as day dawned in respective time zones.
Xbox fans queued at consumer electronics shops to be among the first to get their hands on Microsoft's beefed up system that extends beyond gaming to online films, music, social networking and more.
A man in New Zealand, 24-year-old Dan Livingstone, become the first person in the world to officially own an Xbox One. He said he was immediately retreating for five days to play with it.
International time zones meant New Zealand was the first country to launch the console.
Australia was next in the global roll out. The distinctive Sydney Tower turned Xbox One green and another 3D projection beamed onto the water beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the midnight launch.
In California, people were also eager to get one of their own.
"It's a big upgrade; a big change," said 23-year-old Jonathan Guerrero, who staked out a spot at the front of the line at a Best Buy electronics shop in Northern California 13 hours before the consoles went on sale a minute into Friday.
"You are jumping from okay to super great."
Hassan Ali, 34, said he queued to get an Xbox One because he has an ideal television for the rich graphics pumped out by the console. He described his set as a 3D, high-definition, smart television with a 165cm screen.
"It's kind of amazing that you can look at the game and it looks like real life," said 34-year-old Ali, who told of loving video games since his first Sega device in 1985.
Sony last week unleashed its new champion in the long-running console war, getting a slight jump on Microsoft heading into the prime holiday shopping season.
The Xbox One, successor to the Xbox 360, the top-selling console in North America, will debut at a price of $500 while Sony's PS4 is priced at $400.
Sony said it sold more than a million PS4 consoles in the 24 hours after its release on 15 November.