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Xbox 360 Outsells Wii and PS3 This Holiday

The results are in

Consumers have cast their votes and Xbox 360 was the best-selling next-generation console of the 2006 holiday season in the United States , outselling the PlayStation 3 and Wii combined in December and outselling all next-generation consoles in November and December. The Xbox 360 garnered a 51% market share in the United States for December 2006. ( US NPD, January)

Gamers get into Gear

Like “Halo,” “Grand Theft Auto,” and “Zelda,” “Gears of War,” is tracking to be one of the best-selling video games of all time. By the end of next week, “Gears of War” will have sold more than 3 million copies to consumers worldwide in just 10 weeks.

Following on the success of “Gears of War,” 2007 will quite simply be the best year for great games in Xbox history.

* By holiday 2007, there will be more than double the 160 next-generation games available on Xbox 360 today, including highly anticipated MGS titles such as “Halo 3,” “Blue Dragon,” “Crackdown,” “Forza Motorsport 2,” “Lost Odyssey,” Mass Effect,” “Project Gotham Racing 4” and “Shadowrun.”

* Third party publishers continue to flock to the Xbox 360 for its high definition fidelity, ease of development and unmatched online capabilities. Surefire hits coming from third parties in 2007 include “Assassin’s Creed” (Ubisoft), “Dance Dance Revolution Universe™” (Konami), “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Rockstar), “Guitar Hero 2™” (Activision) and exclusives like “BioShock” (2K) and “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” (Ubisoft).
* This week, we announced more than 20 million Xbox Live Arcade games have been downloaded to date, including “Assault Heroes,” “Small Arms,” “DOOM” and this week’s release “Ms. Pac-Man.” Other popular games will join Xbox Live Arcade's library as the platform’s popularity continues to grow, including the highly anticipated "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" from Konami and "Heavy Weapon" from PopCap.

Xbox Live—The Largest Social Network in the Living Room

With more than 5 million active members, two-million messages crossing the network a day, and three-billion game play hours logged to date, Xbox Live has become the largest social network on television. And Xbox Live innovations like Achievements, Gamerscore, and Reputation are changing the way people play games and share their games and entertainment experiences with friends.

Xbox Live is also an on-demand culture, where entertainment powerhouses like CBS, Lion’s Gate, MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting, Paramount Pictures, UFC, and Warner Brothers are entertaining one of the most captive 18-34 year old communities online today. Seven weeks ago, Xbox Live and its studio partners began offering hit TV shows and movies in high and standard definition for download. According to the studios, the social games and entertainment network has already become #2 in Internet downloads of hit TV shows and movies, but #1 in high definition and #1 in the living room—where it matters most.

The countdown is on

200 million Windows gamers around the world can mark their calendars as the availability of Windows Vista on January 30 draws near.

During the CES keynote address, Bill Gates and Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on Xbox 360 using “UNO” (Mattel Inc.) — one of the many new, upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista and one of the top casual games currently on Xbox Live.

At CES, Microsoft also announced the Games for Windows portfolio, which includes “Shadowrun” and “Halo 2,” the first titles to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360. And who doesn’t want one Gamertag, one friends list, one set of achievements, as well as voice chat and game invites across Xbox 360 and Windows Vista? It’s something only Microsoft can offer the world’s largest population of game players.

The overall games line-up, all that take advantage of the new operating system’s revolutionary technology and more user-friendly gaming features, include:

* “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)
* “Age of Empires® III: The Warchiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)
* “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)
* “BioShock” (2K Games/Irrational Games)
* “Company of Heroes” (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)
* “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek)
* “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios)
* “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)
* “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios™)
* “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)
* “Hellgate: London ” (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)
* “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” (LucasArts/TT Games)
* “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.)
* “Marvel Universe Online” (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)
* “Rail Simulator” (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)
* “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)
* “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games)
* “World in Conflict” (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)
* “Zoo Tycoon® 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
* “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania®” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
* “Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

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