Xbox Goes Global With European and Australian Launches

London goes green with Xbox. The Virgin Megastore on London’s Oxford Street was the site of one of many midnight events throughout Europe, marking the launch of Xbox in 16 European countries and Australia. Xbox, the video game system from Microsoft, arrived in Europe and Australia today. Click image to enlarge

LONDON, March 14, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the future-generation Xbox( video game system has landed in Europe and Australia. With Xbox already on store shelves in the United States, Canada and Japan, it’s time for the Xbox generation in Europe and Australia to get a taste of the superior graphics and amazing games that Xbox has to offer.

With the best graphics, sound and game experiences, Xbox is the most powerful video game system available. It has been launched with much fanfare and excitement in every market.

“We have enjoyed successful launches in North America and Japan, and we’re excited to bring the future of video games to Europe and Australia,” said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer (CXO) at Microsoft. “It’s all about the games, and the power of Xbox means that games are more realistic, bigger, more innovative and closer to the original vision of the developer.”

Xbox is on sale for an estimated price of $649 (Australian), including GST, in more than 700 Australian stores, and 479/299 (actual retail prices may vary) at thousands of retail outlets in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

After going on sale in North America in November, Xbox and many Xbox games already have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in the video game industry. These award-winning games, as well as new European-centric titles, are available at launch throughout Europe and Australia.

“There is already tremendous buzz and anticipation for our launch titles in Europe,” said Sandy Duncan, vice president of the Xbox Division at Microsoft Europe. “Gamers can’t wait to get their hands on such blockbuster Xbox games as ‘Halo (TM) ,’ ‘Dead or Alive 3’ and ‘RalliSport Challenge,’ a fantastic racing game developed specifically for the European market.”

The launch day lineup includes U.S. best-sellers “Halo (TM) ,” “Project Gotham Racing (TM) ” and “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee” (from Microsoft®
Game Studios) as well as third-party titles such as “Dead or Alive 3” (Tecmo), “Jet Set Radio Future” (Sega) and “Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (TM) ” (Activision), all of which are exclusive to the Xbox platform.

At stores across Europe, gamers line up to purchase an Xbox game console. Richard Branson and Chris Lewis, managing director, Microsoft Corp., ring up the first excited Xbox customer in the United Kingdom, Scott Rawlins. The Microsoft Xbox video game system arrived in Europe and Australia today. Click image to enlarge

A total of 20 games are available today, and a total of 60 titles are scheduled to be available by the end of June. Many more are in development from some of the world’s best game publishers and developers, including Electronic Arts, Infogrames, Sega, Codemasters, Eidos, Ubi Soft, Activision and Konami.

“Xbox is a welcome addition to European video game culture,” said David Gardner, European general manager and senior vice president at Electronic Arts. “It’s a terrific system that offers new levels of graphics, gameplay and fun. I’ve already played a few titles on Xbox, and I think European gamers are going to love this new video game system.

“EA games such as ‘FIFA World Cup 2002’ look and play great on Xbox,” Gardner said. “In the next few months you’ll see several more titles from EA including ‘NBA Live’ and ‘NHL 2002’ and, later in the year, ‘James Bond, Agent Under Fire.'”

“Microsoft has been a great partner to work with,” said Scott Dodkins, senior vice president at Activision European Publishing. “It has listened to third-party publishers and kept us well informed along the way, allowing us to plan early to bring great games to Xbox.”

“With Xbox we have the opportunity to start new franchises such as ‘Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions’ and extend our proven franchises starting with ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’ and ‘Star Wars® Obi Wan (TM) ‘ from the Star Wars series by LucasArts Entertainment Company. The games look and sound great on Xbox, and this can only be good for everyone.”

Building momentum for Microsoft’s European launch, green light shows and celebratory events greeted gamers waiting to get their hands on the future of video games. London’s Virgin megastores held weeklong activities prior to launch, culminating in a midnight opening at which the first Xbox was sold. Similar midnight events were held at the Mondadori in Milan, Italy; at retailers across Spain; and in Melbourne, Australia.

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, Japan, Europe and Australia.

About Microsoft

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.

Microsoft, Xbox, Halo and Project Gotham Racing 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.

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