Microsoft and NTT Communications Form Strategic Alliance To Deliver Online Gaming Service for Xbox in Japan

TOKYO, March 29, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and NTT Communications Corp. (NTT Com) today announced a strategic alliance to establish a dedicated high-quality, high-speed broadband online gaming service in Japan for use of the Microsoft® Xbox™
video game system. This new service, expected to launch in 2002, will offer gamers in Japan a new way to experience gameplay and propel the idea of connected gaming from a novelty into a necessity.

“Every Xbox console has built-in broadband capability, the technology of the future for online video gaming. This alliance with NTT Com will enable gamers to enjoy the best online game content and gaming experience available,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, who will deliver the keynote address at the Tokyo Games Show tomorrow.

NTT Com, Japan’s leading telecommunications company, will provide Microsoft with access to ADSL through OCN’s broadband services. Microsoft’s Xbox Division in Japan will co-manage the build-out of the online gaming service. This division will also provide support for the game developers creating online-enabled Xbox games.

“With broadband entering a new phase, as evidenced by the rapid proliferation of ADSL, we consider 2001 to be the inaugural year for broadband services,”
said Masanobu Suzuki, president and CEO of NTT Com. & quotNTT Com has been striving to expand its IP-based broadband communications infrastructure. I truly believe that the Xbox service will contribute greatly to the proliferation of broadband services among Japanese households.

Xbox is the only video game system designed from the beginning to be a great platform for online gaming. The Ethernet port and hard disk drive inside every Xbox system let game developers create new online-enabled games that take the video game experience beyond the walls of the gamer’s home and connect them to other gamers throughout the country.

Microsoft and NTT Com are also collaborating to explore the future use of enhanced fiber-optic connections, with speeds up to 100 Mbit, to create more compelling online video game experiences.

About NTT Communications

NTT Communications (NTT Com), a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., provides long-distance and international telecommunications reaching over 200 countries worldwide. In conjunction with Verio Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary wholly owned by NTT Com, the NTT Com group ranks among the top IP service providers globally. The group provides customers of all sizes in the United States, Japan, and throughout Asia with a complete range of Internet-based business services — from high-quality IP network services including global connectivity, network management and IP-VPN to advanced Web-based business solutions. NTT Com’s Arcstar global services operating in about 50 countries also provide managed data, multimedia and other services to some of the largest companies in the world. More information about NTT Com can be found at the company’s Web site at .

About Xbox

Xbox ( ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers new and unforeseen gameplay experiences. With more than three times the graphics

performance of the newest generation of game systems, Xbox unleashes game designers’ creativity to produce games that are challenging, exhilarating, surprising and fun.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

The information contained in this press release relates to prerelease products that may be substantially modified before their first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the products when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this document or the information contained in it.

Microsoft and Xbox are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts