Xbox Rings Up Big Sales for Retailers as Holiday Shopping Season Opens

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 21, 2001 — Cash registers are ringing in response to unprecedented demand for the much-anticipated Xbox™
video game system from Microsoft Corp. Thousands of gamers lined up at stores across the country beginning Thursday, Nov. 15, to be among the first to purchase Xbox, resulting in a near sellout in its first day at retail. Early reports also show a huge demand for games and accessories, with most customers leaving stores not only with an Xbox, but with more than three games and accessories. Top-selling games include
“Halo™ ,” “Project Gotham Racing™ ,” “NFL™ Fever 2002”
“Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee™ ” from Microsoft® Game Studios;
“Madden™ NFL 2002”
from Electronic Arts; and Tecmo’s
“Dead or Alive 3™ ,”
an Xbox exclusive.

“The Xbox launch was the best launch I have ever been a part of, and that goes all the way back to launches like that of Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, 3DO and Atari,”
said Dan DeMatteo, president of Gamestop Inc.
“It was the first time in recent memory we didn’t have to air-ship product to meet the launch date. The momentum continues even after launch. We continue to sell everything we can get.”

The launch smashed many retailers’ single-day sales records. According to Peter Roithmayr, vice president of merchandising at Electronics Boutique,
“It (the Xbox launch) was incredible. We had the single largest sales day in Electronics Boutique history Nov. 15. This was a record we thought would take forever to be broken. We have seen a very strong software and accessory attach beyond the first day of sales. Product continues to ship from Microsoft on a very timely basis, and consumers are obviously pleased.”
Microsoft’s replenishment strategy is ensuring that more than 100,000 consoles are shipped to stores every week through the holidays. Microsoft is on track to greatly exceed this number in advance of the Thanksgiving weekend, the busiest shopping time of the year. By the end of the holiday season, Microsoft will have shipped between 1 million and 1.5 million Xbox units to North America.

“I’m excited to finally see Xbox in the hands of gamers,”
said John O’Rourke, director of sales and marketing for Xbox at Microsoft.
“I’ve always known that Xbox is the best game console ever, but after playing games with people at launch, I see that gamers also recognize the amazing power and intense fun that only Xbox can offer.”

Toys R Us Inc. Vice President World Manager Wayne Yodzio echoed the enthusiasm of many retailers.
“Launch has been excellent. We are still selling software and accessories, even after we continue to sell every console unit we get. Consumers are coming back and buying significant quantities of ‘Dead or Alive 3,’ ‘NFL Fever 2002’ and ‘Halo.'”

Word-of-mouth recommendations and stellar reviews are driving gamers to the great games available on Xbox, including
which earned the highest accolades from Electronic Gaming Monthly, securing a rating of 10 from all reviewers.

Nineteen Xbox titles are currently available for sale, with more than 30 titles expected to be on sale by the end of the holidays, including
“Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding™ ,” “Azurik: Rise of Perathia™ ”
“Nightcaster™ ”
from Microsoft Game Studios;
“WWF® Raw”
from THQ Inc.; and

Star Wars ÒStarfighter™ Special Edition”

Star Wars ÒObi-Wan™ ”
from LucasArts Entertainment Company.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America for the estimated retail price of $299.99.* More information on Xbox can be found online at .

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.

* Actual retail prices may vary.

Microsoft, Xbox, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, Amped, Azurik and Nightcaster 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.

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