With the next-generation console battle about to heat up for the holidays, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is hoping that going wireless will help draw in consumers to its Xbox 360 system.

The company announced wireless accessories Wednesday at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. The new products include a camera for video chat and a racing wheel for driving video games.

The new Xbox Live Vision camera, available in the United States on Sept. 19, will let gamers see and talk with one another on Microsoft's Xbox Live online service.

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A $39.99 edition will include the camera, a headset for voice chat, a one-month subscription to the premium version of Xbox Live, as well free downloads of the video games "UNO" and "TotemBall" on Xbox Live Arcade.

For $79.99, consumers get a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live and free downloads of "UNO" and "Robotron."

Coming in November is the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel. Designed for racing games, the $149.99 controller will include force feedback to simulate bumpy roads.

By the end of the year, the company also plans to sell a $59.99 wireless headset for voice chatting and a $19.99 wireless receiver so consumers can use the devices to play games on their Windows-based computers.

The new products come as rivals Sony Corp (SNE). and Nintendo Co. prepare to enter the next-generation video game market.

The PlayStation 3 from Sony, due Nov. 17, will have wireless controllers with built-in motion sensors but no force-feedback feature.

Nintendo's Wii, meanwhile, uses a unique TV-style remote that can be swung like an ax or an golf club to control the on-screen action. Nintendo has said only that the Wii should be available by the end of the year.