NEWS - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

MS Reconsidering Bikini-Girl Giveaway

Microsoft Corp.’s Japan unit is reconsidering a plan to give away a long pillow printed with an almost-full size image of a popular game character, 17-year-old Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series, wearing a pink bikini. The pillow was part of a promotion announced in mid-January designed to boost sales of Microsoft’s Xbox console, which has sold poorly in Japan. At the time, Microsoft said it will sell from March 25 a limited edition of 5,000 Xbox consoles with a "Kasumi-chan blue" colored case and controller, a copy of the Dead or Alive Online software and a 12-month subscription to the Xbox Live online gaming service. The online version of Dead or Alive is due to launch the same day. "Our purpose of including the item is simply that those type of cushion has great appeal to fans of the title. It’s a pure promotion. I am aware that there are some stories written by overseas press with misconceptions," said a Microsoft spokeswoman who would not provide her name.


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