Xbox Accelerates Into Holiday With Full Head of Steam

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 23, 2003 — Fueled by a highly touted lineup of new game titles and the growing popularity of its unified online gaming service, Microsoft® Xbox®
is outpacing the industry as the only next-generation console to continuously demonstrate positive market share growth on a year-over-year basis (August 2002 to August 2003). According to NPD Group Inc. (NPD Funworld TRSTS, August 2003), sales of the Xbox console increased 6 percent from this same period last year, while Sony’s PlayStation 2 dropped 36 percent and Nintendo’s GameCube fell 22 percent. Xbox now captures 27 percent of the U.S. industry market share for next-generation consoles and is on track to capture additional market share this holiday season.

Along with the momentum for Xbox hardware, August sales of Xbox software grew faster than on both PlayStation 2 and GameCube, up 58 percent for this same period last year. Pulling in two of the top four best-selling titles and four of the top 10 in August, the Xbox cumulative attach rate increased to 5.8, the highest on record for any next-generation console after 22 months on the market. Xbox top sellers included
“Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Island Thunder”
by Ubi Soft Entertainment,
“Soul Calibur II”
by Namco,
“Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic”
by LucasArts, and EA’s
“Madden 2004.”

Xbox Live (TM) , the premier online gaming service, saw a 17 percent leap in sales of Xbox Live Starter Kit in August. Supplementing this achievement was the launch of XSN Sports, the first truly virtual online sports league for any Xbox Live -enabled video game featuring the XSN Sports logo, including
“NFL Fever 2004”
from Microsoft Game Studios. Xbox Live , the world’s most intense unified gaming service, offers gamers a consistent, reliable and exhilarating experience. With its unified approach, Xbox Live allows gamers to easily find their friends online, match up with players of all skill levels, and quickly jump into their favorite games with friends and foes around the world.

In the coming weeks, eight more countries will launch the Xbox Live service. They are Korea, Austria, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland. By the holiday season, more than 50 action-packed Xbox games will be Xbox Live -enabled, more online games than any competing console claims.

Accelerating its marketplace velocity, last week’s launch of a special holiday promotion is already proving popular with consumers. Priced at $179.99, this limited-time offer includes the powerful Xbox console, a two-month trial subscription to Xbox Live ,* the blockbuster game
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
by LucasArts and THQ’s
“Tetris Worlds Live,”
an enhanced version of the classic favorite optimized for online play.

“The latest data is really a harbinger of what we expect to see this holiday season,”
said Mitch Koch, vice president of retail sales and marketing for the home and entertainment division at Microsoft Corp.

With close to 400 games, a global Xbox Live community, 50 Xbox Live -enabled games, and a holiday promotion that offers tremendous value, Xbox is appealing to an ever-growing audience of thrill-seekers.”

The momentous success of Xbox will continue with the release of this year’s hot holiday title lineup, with exclusives such as
“Ninja Gaiden”
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy”
(LucasArts) and
“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3”
(Ubi Soft), and a diverse first-party lineup showcasing
“Counter-Strike,” “Crimson Skies® : High Road to Revenge (TM) ,” “Grabbed by the Ghoulies (TM) ,” “Project Gotham Racing® 2,”
“Music Mixer,”
and XSN Sports-enhanced
“Amped® 2”
“Top Spin (TM) ,”
providing new and exciting entertainment experiences for gamers of all ages.

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 the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox video game system and the Windows®
and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( ), including such franchises as
“Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator”
“Zoo Tycoon (TM)”
; Xbox ( ), including such franchises as
“Halo® ,” “Project Gotham Racing”
“NFL Fever”
; and ( ), the official games channel for the MSN®
network and home to such hits as
“OutSmart (TM) .”

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.

*Certain restrictions apply to Xbox Live offer. See Xbox console packaging for offer details.

Tetris® ; (c) Elorg 1987. Tetris Worlds TM: (c) Elorg 2002. Tetris Logo by Roger Dean: (c) The Tetris Company 1997. All Rights Reserved. Original Concept & Design by Alexey Pajitnov. Tetris® and Tetris Worlds (TM) licensed to The Tetris Company and Sublicensed to THQ Inc. Developed by Radical Entertainment. Radical Entertainment and its logo are trademarks of Radical Entertainment, Ltd. Uses Bink Video. Copyright (c) 1997-2003 by RAD Game Tools, Inc. THQ and its logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc. All rights reserved. Portions (c) & (p)2003 Microsoft Corporation. (c) 2002, 2003 LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC. (c) 2002, 2003 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM or®
as indicated. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. The Pandemic logo is a trademark of Pandemic Studios LLC.

Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Live, Crimson Skies, High Road to Revenge, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Project Gotham Racing, Amped, Top Spin, Windows, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Halo, MSN, the Xbox logos and OutSmart are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation and/or Rare 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. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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