NEWS - Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Capture The Spirit Of Gaming

Straight from Microsoft Canada...


Toronto, ON (November 13, 2001) – In collaboration with Universal Music Canada and EMI Music Canada, Xbox, the future-generation gaming console, today announced the release of the first-ever Xbox compilation CD offered in Canada. Available in music and game retailers nationally November 13, Soundtrack 1 – The Definitive Xbox Compilation brings together the best music for gamers, including hip-hop, electronic, alternative and modern rock from high profile bands, as well as new and upcoming talent. An additional CD ROM features additional Xbox content, including hundreds of screen shots, videos, game trailers, interviews and demos from highly anticipated Xbox games.

The music compilation CD contains 18 tracks of eclectic music recorded by intense bands such as The Crystal Method, Wu-Tang Clan, Fatboy Slim, Rob Zombie, Ludacris, Chemical Brothers, Public Enemy and others! A Canadian led initiative supporting home grown talent, highlights include the Baby Blue Sound Crew and Kittie. With Xbox’s strong focus on supporting new and upcoming talent, Project Wyze and Shocore share the spotlight with well-known acts on this CD. Many of these artists were selected through their participation in current or upcoming Xbox games, such as Project Gotham Racing™ and NFL Fever1, where music is an integral part of playing the game. In its ongoing efforts to promote artists, Xbox plans to feature music at launch and retail events across the country as well as in other planned programs.

Commenting on the launch of the CD release, Ryan Mugford, Marketing Lead, Xbox and Executive Producer on the CD compilation said, “Music is the cultural DNA that defines our audience and we believe that Soundtrack 1 will help people re-define the way that music complements their video game experiences. Xbox features the most sophisticated audio delivery of any gaming console -- it’s also the first gaming system that gives gamers the chance to personalize game tracks.”

Xbox represents the most sophisticated gaming audio experience on the market with 256 channels of audio – 64 of them in 3D, with Dolby Digital2 5.1 Surround Sound. Once the audio intensity of the CD has been discovered, gaming enthusiasts can encode Soundtrack 1 onto their own Xbox hard disk, allowing them to sort and arrange their own custom soundtrack to play along with select games, thus making the gaming experience uniquely theirs.

The bonus CD-ROM offers extra value-added material to consumers. As well as providing additional music elements, the CD-ROM has additional Xbox content, including hundreds of screen shots, videos, game trailers, interviews and demos from highly anticipated Xbox games. Highlights include a behind the scenes glimpse of “Tweekend” by Crystal Method, plus music videos for “Name of the Game” and “You Know It’s Hard”.

“Xbox understands that music can play an important role in enhancing the game experience for gamers,” said Randy Lennox, President, Universal Music Canada. “Thus, a relationship between two industries that reflect well on both gaming and the record industry seems obvious and allows both industries to reach a new audience in a new and exciting way.”

A joint venture between Universal and EMI, as label partners, Universal will take the lead in distribution across the country. Universal plans to promote Soundtrack I through a national television campaign, as well as targeting radio and urban weeklies. To further support the CD, Xbox will leverage promotional activities including national grassroots campaigns focusing on campus, retail events and mobile touring programs among other initiatives, as well as distributing wild postings in key locations. Soundtrack 1 will be sold at all traditional record retail outlets such as HMV, Music World and Virgin. Other outlets include, Future Shop, and Walmart, as well as hitting less traditional music outlets such as Electronic Boutique and Compucentre. As an ongoing series of compilations with new levels of music for games, additional partners will be announced accordingly.

“The synergy between music and gaming is clear,” commented Deane Cameron, President, EMI Music Canada. “With Soundtrack 1, underground groups and artists are given a new vehicle that reaches their target audience – the same audience that Xbox will attract.”

As an indication of its commitment to the importance of music, Xbox management hired well known music industry consultant, Frank Davies, President, Let Me Be Frank Inc., to help coordinate Xbox’ music strategy and the development of the CD compilation. Davies has been a major contributor to Canada’s music fabric for more than three decades in his role as record producer, record label owner and music publisher. His energy, vision and commitment has helped introduce these new partners with the aim and purpose of reaching new fans for both industries and creating the start of a potentially long and mutually beneficial relationship between them.

“Recognizing it as one of the most anticipated launches of the year,” said Davies, “gamers at the labels were especially excited to be involved in this project with Xbox. From their reactions together with Xbox’ dedication and commitment to that essential music element that its core gamers thrive on, I knew the possibilities that could evolve from creating such a compilation for them were endless.”

Check out the commercial right here! (Special Thanks to Planetxbox for hosting the video) (right click and Save Target As...)

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