SYDNEY, Australia — April 22, 2006 — More than 2,900 gamers from around the world staged the world’s largest water balloon event in Australia today. The Water Balloon Challenge, held on Sydney’s Coogee Beach, celebrated the record-breaking launch of the Xbox 360™ console in Australia and raised money for a local lifesaving group.
About 50,000 water balloons, the same number of Xbox 360 consoles that have been sold in the country since the launch on March 23, 2006, were thrown by participants. Gamers traveled from as far away as Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States to take part in the event.
“It was absolutely crazy when the balloons started flying — there was so much water I should have worn scuba gear,” said Niels Keurentjes of the Netherlands. “I flew thousands of miles to get here, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
The previous world record for a water balloon event was held by 2,677 Spaniards after the record was set in 2005.
“This was a great chance for us to do something fun for all those thousands of Australians who helped make the Xbox 360 launch such a success,” said David McLean, regional director of Xbox® Australia and New Zealand at Microsoft. “It was a great chance for everyone to jump in and remember the joy and fulfillment that comes from playing games of any kind.”
The Water Balloon Challenge had a serious side as well. Five dollars from every registration fee was donated to the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club to assist in its ongoing patrol of the famous Coogee Beach.
Xbox 360 gamers in Sydney, Australia, participate in a record-breaking water balloon challenge to celebrate the biggest console launch in Australian history. Photo courtesy Microsoft Corp.
“There is nothing more Australian than coming together to play on the beach,” said Rob Yelon from Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club. “Today’s event was a massive success, and the proceeds donated from Xbox will be used to upgrade our lifesaving training facilities and replacement of critical lifesaving equipment.”
Participants can access images from the event at http://www.xbox.com.au.
About Xbox and Xbox 360
Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video game and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries. Microsoft introduced its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in the 2005 holiday season in Europe, Japan and North America, and launched the system in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com/xbox360) is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live® online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers.
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