NEWS - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

No Xbox Launch in Taiwan

A Microsoft Corp. executive said on Wednesday his company had no plans to launch its popular Xbox game consoles in Taiwan for the time being.

"We do not have specific plans at this point for Taiwan. We have launched in the U.S. but we have to make sure in every country we enter that we have a complete solution around the product and that we have the ability to deliver the product," Richard Belluzzo, Microsoft’s president and chief operating officer, told a news conference.

He did not mention plans for other countries in the region.

Japan’s top video game maker, Sony Corp , has said it will start selling its PlayStation 2 in Taiwan in January.

Competition in the high-stakes game machine market has been expected to heat up following the launch of next-generation consoles by Nintendo Ltd and newcomer Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Xbox made its debut in the United States on November 15. In late August, Microsoft delayed the Japan launch until February 22 next year in order to ensure its success on home turf first.

Microsoft plans to ship between one million and 1.5 million of the devices in the United States by the end of the year.

Microsoft is also planning to set up a Microsoft.NET Asia Pacific technical service centre in Taiwan in a bid to strengthen the island’s software technologies, the company said in a statement.

At least 10 local leading software companies planned to participate in the project, it said, but did not identify them or release any investment details.


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