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Latest Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Gaming News

=0A =0AThe Xbox 360 community continues to grow month after month. Accordin=
g to yesterday=92s NPD results, Xbox 360 had strong sales in January, and d=
elivered the number one best-selling title across all gaming consoles =96 =
=93Lost Planet: Extreme Condition=94 (CAPCOM). Combine blockbuster games wi=
th an extensive library of high-definition entertainment, along with the la=
rgest online gaming community, and Xbox 360 becomes the most fun and robust=
gaming and entertainment system available today. =0A=0A =0A=0A Micro=
soft=92s Entertainment and Devices Division reported 76% growth last quarte=
r (October through December 2006), driven in large part by better than expe=
cted Xbox 360 console, software, accessories and Xbox Live sales. Coming of=
f a strong January and as we march into our best year ever for Xbox 360 gam=
es, we feel great about our position in the market. Yesterday, NPD reported=
that 294,000 Americans purchased an Xbox 360 last month. And the response =
doesn=92t stop there. Check out some other reasons why people find Xbox 360=
so hard to resist. =0A=0A =0A=0A The Blockbuster Platform=0A=0A Ac=
cording to NPD, Xbox 360 still has a record-setting software attach rate =
=96 currently at 5.1 =96 due in part to an unprecedented portfolio appealin=
g to gamers of all kinds. Fourteen months into the next-generation, Xbox 36=
0 already has four million-unit sellers on the platform =96 =93Call of Duty=
2=94 (Activision), =93Gears of War=94 (Microsoft Game Studios), =93Ghost R=
econ Advanced Warfighter=94 (Ubisoft) and =93Madden NFL 07=94 (EA Sports). =
At the same point in the original Xbox=92s lifecycle, only =93Halo=94 (MGS)=
had sold over a million copies. As our games portfolio doubles by the end =
of this year, not only will our Xbox 360 gamers benefit from our extensive =
library of titles, but game publishers are poised to see higher returns on =
Xbox 360 games than from any other next-generation gaming platform. =0A=0A =
Xbox 360 had four of the top 10 selling games on any console =
this month, according to NPD: =93Lost Planet: Extreme Condition=94 (CA=
PCOM), =93Gears of War=94 (MGS), =93Tom Clancy=92s Rainbow Six Vegas=
=94 (Ubisoft) and =93Madden NFL 07=94 (EA Sports). NPD ranked the ex=
clusive Xbox 360 title =93Lost Planet: Extreme Condition=94 (CAPCOM) a=
s January=92s number one best-selling title across all gaming consoles=
in the United States. This intense sci-fi shooter game shipped 409,00=
0 copies in the US, and one million copies in the US and Europe combin=
ed =96 outselling all other games. =93Gears of War=94 (MGS) =96 als=
o exclusive to Xbox 360 =96 was the third best-selling video game in =
the United States at 221,000 copies sold last month. With more than 3.3=
million copies sold to date worldwide, this triple platinum title =
has already received more than 30 =93Game of the Year=94 awards, and=
more than 2 million people have downloaded the =93Gears of War=94 Map=
Pack 1 on Xbox Live. Microsoft Game Studios was recently honored a=
t the D.I.C.E Summit, receiving 10 Interactive Achievement Awards out =
of 19 nominations. Hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Scien=
ces, =93Gears of War=94 won eight awards out of 10 nominations, includ=
ing Overall Game of the Year and Console Game of the Year. Two other M=
icrosoft Game Studios titles, =93Viva Pi=F1ata=94 and =93Microsoft Fli=
ght Simulator X,=94 also won awards =96 =93Viva Pi=F1ata=94 for Outsta=
nding Female Character Performance and =93Microsoft Flight Simulator X=
=94 for Simulation Game of the Year. Xbox 360 has an amazing portfol=
io of games that appeal to everyone from hard core gamers to casu=
al gamers alike. It is the only console where gamers will be able to p=
lay both blockbuster hits =93Grand Theft Auto IV=94 (Rockstar Games) a=
nd =93Halo 3=94 (MGS). Other highly anticipated titles coming to =
Xbox 360 include: =93Assassin=92s Creed=94 (Ubisoft), =93Blue Dragon=
=94 (MGS), =93Forza Motorsport 2=94 (MGS), =93Guitar Hero II=94 (=
Activision), =93Lost Odyssey=94 (MGS), =93Mass Effect=94 (MGS), =
=93Project Gotham Racing 4=94 (MGS) and =93Shadowrun=94 (MGS), al=
ong with exclusives like =93BioShock=94 (2K) and the next installment =
of =93Tom Clancy=92s Splinter Cell=94 (Ubisoft). Released yesterday, =
=93Crackdown=94 (MGS) offers a new kind of crime-fighting hero w=
ho evolves into a bigger, stronger, faster, more efficient weapon of =
justice through continued gameplay. And, for a limited-time, all copies =
of Crackdown include an invitation to the "Halo 3" (MGS) multiplay=
er beta program in late spring. (Gamers should ensure the =93Halo 3=
=94 multiplayer beta invite sticker is clearly marked on the game box=
). For the gaming car enthusiasts, it has been confirmed that =93=
Forza Motorsport 2=94 (MGS), the sequel to Xbox=92s award-winning rac=
ing franchise, is revving up for a May 2007 launch. =0A=0A M=
ore of What You Want =0A=0A Xbox 360 has become the center of digital ent=
ertainment in the living room where gamers go to build their digital identi=
ty, play games, communicate with their friends, and download high-definitio=
n movies, television shows and game content in a personalized, customized d=
igital environment. =0A=0A Xbox Live connects more than 5 million =
people together every day and allows them to decide how and with whom =
they want to play and compete. Xbox Live innovations like =
Achievements, Gamerscores, and Reputations are changing the way people =
play games, share their games, and experience entertainment with frien=
ds. Only on Xbox Live can gamers compare successes, attempt unique in=
-game challenges and find value in playing games again and again in n=
ew ways. In fact, since the Xbox 360 launched in November 2006, more =
than 200 million Achievements have been unlocked. Later this year,=
Microsoft will expand Live to gamers on Windows Vista-based PCs. Gam=
ers will be able to use their Gamertag, Xbox Live friends list, and A=
chievements through Live services that connect their gaming experienc=
es between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360. Xbox 360 gam=
ers are serious about their entertainment =96 nearly half of them own =
a high-definition TV and many more intend to buy a high-definition TV =
sometime this year. Xbox Live Video Marketplace, the numbe=
r one HD download service online, makes downloading entertainment sim=
ple by bringing popular television shows and movies from leading ente=
rtainment studios directly to your living room. New movies and televi=
sion shows are available each week from CBS Broadcasting Inc., MTV Ne=
tworks Co., NASCAR.com, Paramount Pictures Corp., Turner Broadcasting=
System Inc., Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Warner Bros. Home E=
ntertainment. =0A=0A Based on this week=92s NPD results, the gamin=
g industry clearly experienced positive year-over-year growth in January, w=
hich is good for the health of our industry. The long-term winner in the ne=
xt-gen console market will be determined by its great games and great innov=
ations. For Xbox 360, we=92re off to a great start in what will be known as=
the year of the best Xbox games ever. =0A=0A=0A =0A=0A =0A=0A=0A=0A=0A=

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