NEWS - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Xbox Tightens Grip on No.2 Over Gamecube

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 19, 2003 — Coming off an impressive holiday season, the Xbox™ video game system continues to show strong North American sales and solidify its position in the highly competitive video game industry. Microsoft Corp. today confirmed that Xbox got off to a very happy new year, with outstanding January sales. According to NPD Group/NPD Funworld, Xbox maintained a 24 percent next-generation market share in January, double the share of Nintendo’s GameCube system. “It’s always nice to know that gamers agree with us in thinking that Xbox is a fabulous machine and a great entertainment value,” said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. “After 15 months on the market, we’re right on target with our business plan and will continue to provide the best interactive experiences possible.” With January sales, Xbox increased its cumulative software-to-hardware attach rate to an impressive 4.9 units, the highest for any next-generation console after 15 months on the market.* In addition, the Xbox Live™ service continues to excite gamers around the world. Microsoft has now sold 44 percent more Xbox Live starter kits than Sony has sold of its PS2 network adapters during their first three months in the market.* The biggest noise in the month of January was made by “Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball,” the highly anticipated title from Tecmo Inc., developed exclusively for Xbox. Released on Jan. 22, “DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball” immediately became the month’s No. 1 selling Xbox title, selling as many units in 10 days as GameCube consoles sold during the entire month.* When the game launched in Japan during the same period, it rose to the No. 2 bestseller position across all platforms for the week with just two days of sales behind it (Media Create Co. Ltd.). “We’re glad that the ‘DOA’ franchise continues to be a strong force behind the success of Xbox,” said John Inada, general manager of Tecmo. “Following the success of our million-selling Xbox launch title ‘Dead or Alive 3,’ we were confident that the loyal fans of the ‘DOA’ series would embrace ‘DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball’ in full force. Combine the high-level gameplay and compelling game concept with the best machine and you really can’t lose.” Xbox continued to capitalize on its momentum coming out of the recent holiday by outselling GameCube on console sales by a 2-to-1 margin in January, the widest variance in the past eight months. Moreover, after four months on the market, the Xbox holiday offer, which includes an Xbox system, a new controller and two free Sega games for $199,** proved to be a huge hit with consumers. The Xbox holiday offer outsold the Nintendo Mario Bundle by a margin of more than 3 to 1.* Overall, the strength of Xbox helped propel the industry to a stellar January performance. Next-generation hardware sales increased 26 percent year over year, while software sales rose an astounding 46 percent.*


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