NEWS - Thursday, October 31, 2002


Xbox Live Ready For Canadians

Leading Canadian Broadband Providers Are Ready for Microsoft’s Xbox Live Online Game Service Bell Canada, Rogers Cable and TELUS Corp. to Help Usher in New Era for Online Video Games Starting November 15 TORONTO, ONTARIO - October 30, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that three leading Canadian broadband providers will be the first providers to support the Microsoft(R) "Xbox(TM) Compatible" program, making it easy for consumers to identify high-speed service plans that deliver great experiences for Xbox Live(TM). The current list of Canadian "Xbox Compatible" broadband service providers includes: Bell Canada, Rogers Cable Inc. and TELUS Corp. Research from the Canadian consulting firm The Convergence Consulting Group indicates that these three providers combined represent more than 45 percent of Canadian residential high-speed Internet access accounts. Xbox Live, which launches in Canada and the U.S. on November 15, is the ultimate online game arena that allows gamers throughout North America to play games with each other, talk while they play using the Xbox Communicator headset, and download new content to keep games fresh. According to Ryan Mugford, Group Marketing Manager, Xbox Canada, while Xbox Live is designed to work well with most high-speed Internet services, the "Xbox Compatible" service providers are working with Microsoft to help ensure a great user experience on Xbox Live for customers. " ’Xbox Compatible’ service plans help ensure that playing Xbox Live games across these plans will be quick, simple and hassle-free," said Mugford. "Together with ’Xbox Compatible’ broadband providers, we’re doing the heavy lifting on the service so customers can focus on playing fast-action games. As the only all-broadband gaming service with the support of leading providers, Xbox Live is uniquely positioned to help propel online gaming forward while driving adoption of broadband services by gamers." "As Canada’s leading ISP, Bell Sympatico caters to Canadian gamers with a variety of services and now as an ’Xbox Compatible’ service provider, we are excited about the opportunity for online gaming enthusiasts to enjoy and share the benefits of Sympatico high-speed Internet access at home," said Fil Giulione, vice-president, Consumers ISP, BellCanada. "We are excited to be working with Microsoft on this launch," said Michael Lee, Vice President, New Product Development, Rogers Cable Inc. "Rogers has built a high-performance cable broadband network specifically for applications such as Xbox Live which are best experienced on broadband." "Broadband penetration in Canadian households is on the rise, and we continually strive to provide our high-speed Internet customers with online experiences that are only possible with a broadband connection," said Simon Vincent, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, TELUS Corp. "Being an ’Xbox Compatible’ provider not only offers our customers great online gaming experiences but also further demonstrates the benefits of broadband." "Xbox Compatible" broadband service providers and their plans may display the "Xbox Compatible" logo for their retail offerings at outlets nationwide, and several providers are expected to create marketing programs supporting Xbox Live. Microsoft also will continue working with other broadband service providers to add more service plans to the "Xbox Compatible" program. At launch, more than 7,000 North American retail outlets will begin selling the Xbox Live Starter Kit for a suggested price of $79.99 (CDN). For about the price of a new game, the kit includes a one-year subscription to Xbox Live, the highly anticipated Xbox Communicator headset and online trial versions of THQ®’s "MotoGP" and "Whacked!T" from Microsoft Game Studios, so gamers can start playing with their friends right away. All Xbox units come with a built-in Ethernet port and hard drive, enabling any Xbox owner to plug into Xbox Live through a high-speed Internet service provider. Retail programs will be supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that will include advertising, retail communications and promotional activities. The Xbox Live service is scheduled to launch a beta program in Europe and Japan this year, with full retail launches early in 2003.
Source: http://www.xbox.ca/

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