Xbox Live online Gaming Community Doubles in Just one Year, New Member added Every 30 Seconds
London, 20th July 2005 – Once again breaking new ground and proving that gamers around the world crave personalised and social online experiences, Xbox® LiveTM, the premier global online console games and entertainment service from Microsoft, now unites two million gamers from around the world. Xbox Live continues to grow exponentially having doubled its online, dynamic community in just one year – the equivalent to adding one Xbox Live member every 30 seconds.

"Reaching the two million member milestone in such a short time speaks volumes about the depth and vibrancy of the Xbox Live community," said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Home and Entertainment Division and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "This enormous growth is a true testament to the compelling content and engaging experiences enabled through Xbox Live today. The service is inspired by the creative power of the individual and fuelled by the passion of a worldwide community."

The two million Xbox Live member milestone is due largely to a growing library of videogame titles that deliver incredible online experiences, the availability of exciting downloadable content to extend gaming experiences, and a vibrant and active online community. More than 20 million pieces of content have been downloaded to date, proving that gamers today have access to and are experiencing more exciting downloadable content to enhance their gaming experience such as extra levels, maps and weapons than ever to enhance their gaming experience.

Additionally, there is plenty more for Xbox Live gamers to look forward to in the coming months through both current-generation titles and the launch of Microsoft's eagerly anticipated next-generation Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system. With the launch of the console this Christmas, the Xbox Live portfolio is planning for more then 300 multiplayer Xbox and Xbox 360 games available worldwide for gamers to enjoy. New Xbox 360 titles will include "Perfect Dark ZeroTM (Microsoft Game Studios), "Project Gotham Racing® 3" (Microsoft Game Studios), "Madden NFL 06" (Electronic Arts), "Dead or Alive 4®" (Tecmo), and "Call of Duty 2" (Activision). In the current generation, third party publishers continue to show strong support for Xbox Live with games such as "Tony Hawk's American WastelandTM" (Activision), "Star Wars BattlefrontTM II" (LucasArts) and "Battlefield 2: Modern Combat" (Electronic Arts).

Transferring user accounts to the next-generation console will be easy. As Xbox Live is a universal service between both platforms, gamers can move their Xbox Live memberships seamlessly from Xbox to Xbox 360, while still enjoying online games and entertainment on the current generation system.

With the launch of the Xbox 360, Xbox Live gamers can expect incredible new experiences in the next generation of the online games service, including:

Multiple levels of service To fit the unique needs and interests of each Xbox Live gamer, the Xbox Live Gold membership offers all of the Xbox Live Silver features as well as multiplayer online gaming, tournaments and participation in original programs such as "Game with Fame" and other Prime Time activities. The Xbox Live Silver membership includes free basic features such as Gamer Profile, access to the Xbox Live Marketplace and voice chat and messaging.

Gamercards. A quick summary of a player's Gamer Profile, this contains a player's Gamertag, Gamer Picture, Reputation, Gamerzone and personal motto.

Gamerzone. Players can choose their style of social gaming and be seamlessly paired with others based on their preferences.

An integrated message centre. Members can keep connected even when they're not online playing.

Xbox Live Marketplace. This one-stop shop for all downloadable content include free content such as trailers and themes as well as full-featured premium content, such as racing cars and maps.

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About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the future-generation video game and entertainment system that places gamers at the centre of the experience. Available this Christmas in North America, Europe and Japan, Xbox 360 will ignite a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalised and always in high definition.

About Xbox
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The tag line, "It's good to play together," captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in the UK for an estimated street price of £99.99.

About Xbox Live
Xbox Live continues to transform and unite Xbox game communities worldwide, with more than 300 games planned by end of holiday 2005 for Xbox and now with presence in 24 countries worldwide. As the first global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live continues to take online gameplay and entertainment to unprecedented heights. With a dynamic, global community of two million members, Xbox Live offers best-in-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com — there is simply nothing else like it. The service continues to provide more and more ways for members to meet, interact and stay engaged with each other.
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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Microsoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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