Microsoft will begin selling Xbox 360s in Brazil next month after years of planning, becoming the first console manufacturer to do so directly without the use of third-party vendors. Even though Brazilians have traditionally paid a grundle for consoles, Microsoft will charge $1,399 ($2999 reais) for the system, close to double what you'd pay for "unofficial" product (read: pirated consoles). Nossa! But the Premium package is bundled with three games.

Some additional facts regarding games and the world's 5th most populated country:
  • Games will cost $79 (R$169)
  • Analysts believe the 360 can sell 11 million units in Brazil (tall order)
  • Brazil ranked 15 in the world for console sales
  • Microsoft will spend twice as much on publicity in Brazil as it did for its Mexico 360 launch
The Brazilian initiative by Microsoft aims to exploit first-mover advantage over Nintendo and Sony by being the first to sell a next-generation console in Brazil, especially as the company prepares to compete with both Nintendo and Sony on the world scene in just under two weeks. "We have learned in Mexico and Colombia that when we come ahead of our competitors, our market share can double just by being the first. If we get a critical mass, it's very difficult for us lose our lead," said Daniel Cervantes, director of Microsoft's Latin America games and entertainment division.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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