NEWS - Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Xbox doing bad? No way!

Hardware Sales Up 131 Percent and Two More Xbox-Exclusive Titles Break Million-Seller Mark
REDMOND, Wash. -- July 23, 2002 -- Two independent research groups confirmed today that the Xbox (TM) video game system is on a roll. The NPD Group Inc. reported that Xbox posted a stunning sales increase of approximately 131 percent in the United States in the first two months following a $100 price cut in May. In addition, "Project Gotham Racing (TM) " from Microsoft® Games Studios and "Dead or Alive 3 (TM) " from Tecmo each have sold more than a million units worldwide. According to the International Development Group, this makes Xbox the first video game system ever to have three million-unit-selling launch titles after just eight months on the market. The numbers put the system on track for another blockbuster holiday season, when gamers will be able to choose from more than 200 Xbox games. Since the day one launch of the console in November 2001, the award-winning lineup of software for Xbox has reached a number of key sales milestones. According to independent data from the NPD Group, the definitive source of sales and market data on the video game industry, Xbox has sold more than 10 million units of software in the first eight months the console has been on the market in the United States. That's the most software ever sold for a new video game system in the United States in the same period of time. Last week, Microsoft Corp. reported that 20 million units of Xbox games were sold worldwide in its past fiscal year. Although all three major game console manufacturers announced price cuts in May, Xbox has had the largest percentage gains with sales having spiked approximately 131 percent in the United States in the two months since the price cut, according to NPD. On the software side, two exclusive Xbox launch titles -- "Project Gotham Racing" from Microsoft Game Studios and "Dead or Alive 3" from Tecmo -- have topped the 1 million mark in worldwide sales. Earlier this year, another blockbuster Xbox launch title, "Halo (TM): Combat Evolved," also from Microsoft Game Studios, became the first million-unit seller for Xbox. According to the International Development Group, an independent market research firm that tracks worldwide video game sales, this would make Xbox the first console to ever achieve worldwide sales of more than 1 million units on three different launch titles in less than eight months on the market. "More and more consumers are getting the message that games look and play better on Xbox," said John O'Rourke, director of worldwide Xbox marketing at Microsoft. "We're now gearing up for the holiday season, when gamers will have more than 200 titles to choose from on Xbox, with a total of 300 titles currently in development. Gamers can also look forward to the launch this fall of Xbox Live, the first online console gaming service fully dedicated to fast-action, always-connected broadband gaming experiences." Xbox in New Markets Microsoft also announced today that Xbox is moving into new territories this year, bringing the unique Xbox experience to gamers in Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. "We're moving into new territories faster than any other gaming platform in history, highlighting our global commitment and investment for the future of Xbox around the world," O'Rourke said. "These six territories were selected because of the high interest in intense Xbox games and because many of them are hotbeds for online gaming." Each territory will be announcing specific launch details, including timing, price and launch titles, in the weeks ahead.

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