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Christmas, Winter Successes Allow Even More Competitive Pricing

LONDON, April 10th 2003 — XboxÒ, the future generation video game system from Microsoft, is celebrating an Xbox-green 2003 with a new European price. Effective from tomorrow (Friday, 11th April), Xbox will retail at an estimated street price of €199.99/£129.99 in Europe.

“We had a great Christmas and firmly established ourselves as the number-two console player in this region,” said Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Retail Sales and Marketing, Home and Entertainment Division, Microsoft. “We outsold some very long-established competition and enjoyed near sell-out status, gaining market share along the way. This price change shows we are not content to rest on our laurels – we will continue to be aggressive in driving increased European market share.

“This is also great news for gamers,” said Moore. “Our success in Europe and increased market share means we can take action to remain competitive and allow even more gamers to experience Xbox - and this is a fantastic time to experience Xbox. Hotly anticipated games like Brute Force, Midtown Madness 3, MotoGP 2 and Panzer Dragoon Orta are on the way in the coming months. Also, Xbox Live (which launched 14th March in eight European countries) is bringing Xbox gamers the very best in always-on, fast-action Live gaming. We’re looking forward to continuing our success in Europe through the year.”

Chart-Track and GfK numbers for the 2002 calendar year indicate that Xbox has well exceeded the million-console mark in the UK, France, and Germany alone. This, combined with strong sales in the rest of the region, places Xbox well ahead of Nintendo’s GameCube.

“Xbox launched in Europe just over a year ago and our first Christmas in the region saw us clearly emerge as the number two player,” said Moore. “Games designed for Xbox such as Splinter Cell clearly demonstrate the advanced hardware features on the Xbox and have sold incredibly well. Other games that have fired the imagination of gamers include cross-platform games such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, FIFA 2003, and Colin McRae Rally 3 – these titles have proved the Xbox Difference and enjoyed remarkable sales. With over 250 new titles available this year, 2003 will bring even more must-have titles for Xbox.

“Consumers know that when they buy Xbox they are buying something that offers amazing features and abilities which really set Xbox apart from the competition,” said Moore. “A built-in hard disc and broadband connection allowing people to play Xbox Live right out of the box, together with unrivalled graphics and Dolby 5.1 surround sound, revolutionary gameplay, and top-quality DVD playback, lets gamers get even more from their Xbox.”

About XboxÒ
XboxÒ (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers never before seen gameplay experiences. With more than three times the graphics performance of other game consoles, top-quality DVD playback, Dolby 5.1 surround sound to make games and movies come alive, and a hard disc that opens up new kinds of gameplay, Xbox is the video game system that delivers more of what gamers want. Xbox is available from tomorrow (Friday, 11th April) in Europe for an estimated street price of €199.99/£129.99.

About XboxÒ Liveä
XboxÒ Liveä is the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Xbox Live will allow gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers everywhere via a broadband Internet connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console was built from the ground up to be an

online gaming system so there's no need to buy additional peripherals.
Xbox Live will enable all gamers to find and play with their friends easily; talk to other players during game play through the Xbox Communicator headset; and download current statistics, new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the world-wide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.