NEWS - Friday, January 11, 2002

Japanese Launch Details Released

REDMOND, Wash. - Jan. 11, 2002 - Following a record-breaking launch in North America in which the company shipped 1.5 million Microsoft® Xbox™ video game system units and sold more than three games with every Xbox unit through the end of 2001, Microsoft Corp. today announced details of the Japanese launch for Xbox. The future-generation game console will go on sale at retail outlets throughout Japan Feb. 22 at a price of 34,800 yen, with 12 launch games available from the best names in video games, such as Sega Corp., Konami Corp., Capcom Co. Ltd., Tecmo Ltd. and Microsoft Game Studios.

At a news conference in Tokyo, Hirohisa Ohura, managing director and head of the Xbox Division at Microsoft Japan, announced the availability of a special limited-edition console designed exclusively for the Japanese market.

"Xbox has become a cultural phenomenon in North America that we're confident will spread around the world," said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "From that position of strength, we're working with our industry partners to tap into the growing excitement for Xbox and Xbox games in Japan."

Launch Titles

The Japanese launch portfolio is highly anticipated around the world. Most of the great games have global appeal and will be localized accordingly. The powerful launch lineup includes the following:

  • "JSRF - Jet Set Radio Future™" (from Sega) is a unique graphical street-skating action-adventure game with the unique visual style of Japanese "manga" comics.
  • "GENMA ONIMUSHA™" (from Capcom) is a new interpretation of the war survival action series that garnered worldwide acclaim.
  • "SILENT HILL 2: Saigo no Uta" (from Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo) is the hit adventure game that shook the world with its spine-tingling horror and real-world environment as they can only be presented on Xbox.
  • "DOUBLE-S.T.E.A.L." (from Bunkasha) is a car action game modeled after the thrilling trademark car stunt scenes of Hong Kong cinema.
  • "AIR FORCE DELTA II" (from Konami) is an incredibly realistic 3-D shooting game that incorporates amazingly intense air battles using real-world fighter planes.
  • "HYPER SPORTS 2002 WINTER" (from Konami) recreates 10 sporting events in a realistic, easy-to-control manner. Gamers will appreciate the beautiful atmosphere of winter, with attention to graphics such as the view from the slopes, snow-capped mountains and skating rinks complete with reflections on the ice.
  • "ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding 2002" (from Konami) is a realistic snowboarding game modeled after the ESPN Winter X Games and based on comments and participation from world-class snowboarders.
  • "Nobunaga's Ambition: Chronicles of Chaos" (from Koei) is a historical simulation game in which powerful leaders do battle to become the victorious feudal lord who can bring together various warring factions.
  • "Nezmix" (from Microsoft) is a comical adventure in which players take on the role of a mouse who must recruit, lead and battle with a team of fellow mice to defend their town against a band of enemy invaders.
  • "Tenku: Freestyle Snowboarding" (from Microsoft) is a snowboarding game that focuses on freestyle riding, in contrast to traditional race-based games.
  • "Project Gotham Racing™: World Street Racer" (from Microsoft) is a game that is the ultimate test of gamers' driving skills, style and risk-taking, featuring a unique Kudos System, in which players earn rewards not only for getting to the finishing line first, but also for displaying skill, style and daring while driving.
  • "DEAD OR ALIVE 3" (from Tecmo) is the third title in Tecmo's popular tournament fighting action game series.
  • After launch, a quick succession of games will be available, with an expected 22 titles in Japanese stores by the end of March. On average, Xbox games will be priced between 6,800 yen and 9,800 yen.

    "Microsoft's commitment to the global success of Xbox is evident in the support that the best Japanese game development companies have given Xbox in a short time," Ohura said. "We are working with these companies to create unprecedented games that can only be achieved on Xbox."

    Special Edition Consoles

    Microsoft announced that 50,000 Xbox Special Edition consoles will be available to commemorate the launch in Japan. The special console will be greenish-black with a translucent textured casing. The jewel portion of the box will have a silver logo with black lettering. In addition to the standard AV adapter and the HDTV- and Dolby Digital 5.1-compatible expansion AV pack, a silver-plated key chain will be included in the package. The key chain will feature an engraved serial number and signature from Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. The Xbox Special Edition will be available for an estimated retail price of 39,800 yen.

    Preorders of Xbox Special Edition and the standard Xbox console can be made through Japanese Xbox retail stores Feb. 2.

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