Xbox Live One Year Later: Online Gaming Surges in Popularity

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 17, 2003 —
From Sioux Falls to Seoul, Xbox Live (TM) gamers are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Xbox Live , the fastest growing unified broadband gaming service ever. A passionate and growing community half a million strong, Xbox Live gamers have an insatiable appetite for riveting, interactive and social game experiences. A recently released survey by Zelos Group finds that more than 25 percent of owners of Xbox®
are likely to go online this holiday season, compared to just under 15 percent of PS2 owners. 1

Three of the five top-selling Xbox games at retail last month are online-enabled, with two of those being Xbox Live exclusives. 2 One Xbox Live blockbuster in October — “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® 3 ” from Ubisoft — is attracting record numbers of gamers to the Xbox Live service. In a single, 24-hour period just days after release of “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3,” new records were set on Xbox Live , when online gamers spent more than a quarter of a million hours playing the game. That’s more than 30 years of consecutive playing all in a single day.

Because of its built-in Ethernet port and strong portfolio of Xbox Live -enabled titles, Xbox is the console of choice for gamers anxious to join the online trend. Illustrating demand for the online-ready console, Yahoo! announced this month that Xbox was named the No. 1 toy on the Yahooligans! Top Ten Toys list, beating out Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance SP and Sony’s PS2 for the top slot.

November promises to be another big month for online games, with 14 Xbox Live titles slated to hit store shelves including highly anticipated games such as “Project Gotham Racing®
2” and “Counter-Strike (TM) ,” both from Microsoft Game Studios, and ” Star Wars ® Jedi Knight®
: Jedi Academy (TM) ” from LucasArts. By year’s end, there will be more than 70 Xbox Live titles available at retail.

“With one year of Xbox Live service under our belt, we’ve built a thriving community of passionate gamers, 92 percent of who say they would recommend the service to a friend,3″ said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer. “Seeing online gaming really taking off this holiday season validates our vision for the future. Considering the aggressive worldwide rollout schedule for Xbox Live and the breadth of online games, our projection of one million Xbox Live subscribers by June 2004 is right on track.”

And given the recently announced Xbox holiday offer, gift givers can make online gaming wishes come true without breaking the bank. In the first five weeks of the Xbox holiday offer, retailers reported to Microsoft Corp. that sales have increased 54 percent on a weekly run-rate basis. The $179.99 4 (U.S.) special promotion includes the powerful Xbox console, a two-month trial subscription 5 to the Xbox Live service, and two popular Live -enabled games — Star Wars ® : The Clone Wars (TM) ” from LucasArts and THQ Inc.’s “Tetris®
Worlds (TM) Live.”

Online gaming also is proving to have worldwide appeal. Xbox Live rolled out to eight new countries in October and now encompasses a global community of 19 countries. In Korea, consumers clamored so much for the coveted Xbox Live service that the major retailers reported selling out of Xbox Live starter kits in the first 48 hours, driving the fastest attach rate and highest connectivity rate in Xbox Live history.

With its unified service approach, Xbox Live allows gamers to easily find their friends online, talk to other players during game play, match up with players of any skill level and play their favorite games with competition from around the world.

About Xbox

Xbox ( is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tag line, “It’s good to play together,” captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

About Xbox

Xbox Live , which launched in the United States Nov. 15, 2002, allows gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers worldwide via a broadband connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console is the only video game system built from the ground up for online gaming. Xbox Live enables gamers to easily find their friends; talk to other players during gameplay through the Xbox Communicator headset; download current statistics and new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive; and play online — all exclusive features to Xbox Live .

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.

1 Zelos Group, US Console Gamers Survey, 11/17/03)


3 Xbox Live Customer Satisfaction Survey, Summer 2003

4 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

5 Free Xbox Live subscription offer available with purchase of qualifying Xbox products. New subscriptions in the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada only. At the end of your two-month trial subscription period, $5.99USD/$8.99 CDN per month or the then-current price for Xbox Live service will be automatically charged to your major credit card unless you cancel your subscription or select an alternate plan. Subject to Terms of Use. Service not intended for children under 13. An Xbox Communicator is required for some features (sold separately). Valid 10/01/03 – 3/31/04. Not combinable with other Xbox Live offers or rebates.

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.

LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 (c) 2003 Red Storm Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft, the Ubisoft logo, and the Soldier Icon are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Rainbow Six, Red Storm, and Red Storm Entertainment are trademarks of Red Storm Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Red Storm Entertainment, Inc. is a Ubisoft Entertainment company.

Valve, the Valve logo, Counter-Strike and the Counter-Strike logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Valve, L.L.C.

Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox, Project Gotham Racing, the Xbox Live logo, and the Xbox logos 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 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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