Copyright 2002 PR Newswire

[ March 21st 2002 ]

The dust has cleared from the European launch of the Xbox video game system, the future-generation console from Microsoft Corp. and preliminary reports indicate it's a runaway hit.

Thousands of gamers lined up at stores in the 16 European launch countries on the evening of March 13 to be among the first to purchase Xbox, resulting in a near sell-out in its first day at retail. Early reports also show a huge demand for games and accessories, with most customers leaving stores not only with an Xbox system, but with several games and accessories.

"We have been pleased with Xbox sales over its first weekend," said Lisa Morgan, commercial director for GAME and Electronics Boutique. "Hardware sales were particularly impressive on launch day and we've seen a good attachment rate covering both first- and third-party games. The strong lineup of day-one games has undoubtedly contributed to a successful console launch for Microsoft."

Microsoft's replenishment strategy means that a steady supply of Xbox systems will be hitting retail outlets weekly, helping ensure there is enough product to meet current demand. Microsoft expects to ship between 4.5 million and 6 million Xbox systems worldwide by the end of June. Xbox is the only console manufacturer with a European factory (in Sarvar, Hungary), which means stock can reach any retail outlet in Europe in less than three days.

"I'm excited to finally see Xbox in the hands of gamers," said Sandy Duncan, vice president of Xbox Europe at Microsoft. "I've always known that Xbox is the best video game system ever, but after playing games with people at launch I see that gamers also recognize the amazing power and intense fun that only Xbox can offer. European gamers have welcomed Xbox into their hearts and into their homes in a big way."

Word-of-mouth recommendations and stellar reviews are driving gamers to the great games available on Xbox, including "Halo," which earned a perfect 10 score from the influential European gaming bible Edge. Twenty Xbox titles are now on sale, with more lined up in the next two weeks, such as F1 2002, Genma Onimusha, Shrek and Championship Manager: Season 01/02 by Eidos Interactive.

A steady stream of titles will support Xbox up to June 2002, including 2002 FIFA World Cup, International Superstar Soccer 2, Moto GP, Spider-Man The Movie Game, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.

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