Microsoft Announces New Robust North American Xbox Price Move

REDMOND, Wash., March 29, 2004 — The console dubbed the sexiest video game system is becoming even more attractive. Effective March 30, the Microsoft® Xbox® video game system will be available for a handsome $149.99* in the United States and $199.99** in Canada, representing a significant savings of $30 for consumers in both regions. In addition, Microsoft will reduce the price of the Xbox console in Mexico to $1,999*** pesos, which translates to a consumer savings of $500 pesos or roughly $45 (U.S.).

With a fantastic new price, more than 400 games, an active online community of nearly 750,000 Xbox Live ™ subscribers, and DVD and CD playback capabilities, Xbox validates its competitive advantage while adding a whole new breed of Xbox players to its ever-increasing community of gamers from broad and diverse backgrounds, including many of the world’s most well-known celebrities.

“I love playing Xbox games and believe that the system’s cultural influence as a social entertainment brand has only just begun,” said P. Diddy, musician and Xbox fan.

New Prices on Great Games for Everyone

Microsoft goes one step further in broadening the appeal of Xbox today by lowering the price of several popular software hits. “Xbox Music Mixer,” a pioneering product that broadens the system’s audience with stellar karaoke features, an interactive media player and PC-to-Xbox connectivity functionality, taking the console video game experience beyond gaming, will be available for $19.99* effective March 30. In addition, “Project Gotham Racing® 2,” “Crimson Skies® : High Road to Revenge™ ” and “Counter Strike” will be available starting tomorrow for $29.99,* while “Voodoo Vince™ ” and “Grabbed by the Ghoulies” are available today for $19.99.*

“We have always been committed to providing gamers with the best entertainment experience available,” said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president of Microsoft worldwide retail sales. “At this lower mass market price point, we’re opening up this great system to an even broader audience of people who can experience Xbox for the first time.”

Not to be outdone, Microsoft’s Platinum Hits program has added branches to its family tree with the launch of Platinum Family Hits earlier this month. The Platinum Family Hits program, the first of its kind in the video game industry, offers the most proven and critically acclaimed Xbox titles that are targeted toward a more family-oriented audience. The inaugural titles, available for $19.99,* include “Finding Nemo” (THQ Inc.), based on the Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (Electronic Arts Inc.). Several qualifying E-rated titles will be added to the Platinum Family Hits product line each calendar year.

Now at its new price, Xbox is setting the stage to continue its trend of being the only video game system to experience console unit growth in 2004 in the United States. In February, according to recently released data from NPD Funworld,**** Xbox console sales grew 2 percent year over year, while Playstation 2 declined 29 percent and GameCube declined 18 percent.

About Xbox

Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) 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 tagline, “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 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 Xbox Live online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for the Windows and Xbox platforms (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as “Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon™ ” ; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as “Halo® ,” “Project Gotham Racing” and “NFL Fever” ; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “OutSmart® .”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Estimated retail prices; actual retail prices may vary.

** Canadian estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

***Mexican estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

**** The NPD Group/NPD Funworld (February 2004)

Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Live , Project Gotham Racing, Crimson Skies, High Road to Revenge, Voodoo Vince, Windows, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Halo, MSN and OutSmart 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp.

Related Posts

Xbox Brings “Future-Generation” Games to Life

At this year’s Game Developers Conference, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the development of Xbox, a game console that will deliver the most realistic, intense and action-packed game experience available.