LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. announced today at the 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that the Xbox (TM) video game system had one of the most successful launches in video game history. Microsoft sold 1.5 million units in North America between the Nov. 15 launch and the end of calendar year 2001. In addition, the NPD Group Inc. has reported that gamers bought more than three games with every Xbox system, the highest-ever game attach rate for a video game console launch.
“It feels great to kick off the global rollout of Xbox with a record-breaking launch in North America,” said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. “In 2002, we’re excited to bring Xbox to the world with our upcoming launches in Japan, Europe and Australia. We’ll also be offering more great games and exciting online experiences like never before.”
The success of the North American launch has fueled worldwide excitement for Xbox, which is on track to launch in Japan on Feb. 22, and in Europe and Australia on March 14. In Monday’s CES keynote address, Bach discussed the company’s commitment to making Xbox a global success and showed new, cutting-edge Xbox game titles, including “JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future” from Sega and “RalliSport Challenge” from Microsoft®
Games on Xbox
Five new exclusive Xbox games — including “NBA Inside Drive 2002” and “RalliSport Challenge” from Microsoft Game Studios, “WRECKLESS: The Yakuza Missions” from Activision Inc., “WWF Raw®
” from THQ Inc. and “JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future” from Sega — were showcased to the media at CES, offering a glimpse of the unbelievable experiences gamers will be enjoying in the coming months.
Online Gaming: The Next Step in Video Games
At CES, Bach underscored the ongoing commitment of Microsoft to deliver games and an online games service that take full advantage of today’s online technology. Currently, there are 27 publishers creating online games for Xbox and a greater number of Microsoft employees are working on the Xbox online service than were originally devoted to engineering the console itself.
“Online console gaming will play a significant role in the future of video games. Gamers will be able to compete against one another online, play games that evolve over the course of months, and download new levels, weapons and characters,” Bach said. “Xbox is clearly positioned to lead the way in the online gaming revolution.”
The rollout of the Xbox online gaming service in the first half of this year will give gamers the ability to easily find and play games online with friends, and communicate with other gamers in real time using their own voice through the hands-free Xbox Communicator. Xbox online gaming will feature fast downloads of new characters, new vehicles and new levels to keep games fresh while also enabling episodic games.
Xbox is the first and only video game system designed from its inception to be ready to play online broadband games right out of the box, due to the following features:
A hard disk drive for storing episodic content delivery and new vehicles, new characters, and new game levels for favorite games
An Ethernet port for fast-action, always-on broadband connectivity
Slots in the Xbox game controller designed for real-time voice communication using the Xbox Voice Communicator
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 at the estimated retail price of $299.99.* More information on Xbox can be found at http://www.xbox.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
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