LEIPZIG, Germany â€” Aug. 17, 2005 â€” Ending weeks of speculation about which upcoming video game platform will give gamers the most bang for their buck, today at the German Games Convention, Microsoft Corp. revealed that consumers can get their hands on Xbox 360TM â€” the most powerful and feature-packed next-generation video game and entertainment system â€” for as little as $299.99 U.S./â‚¬299.99/Â£209.99 starting this holiday season. For gamers who want to experience the ultimate digital entertainment thrill ride, Microsoft also announced a model with hundreds of dollars worth of accessories for $399.99 U.S./â‚¬399.99/Â£279.99, giving consumers the definitive entertainment experience at an unbelievable value right out of the box.
The Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Core System â€” along with an impressive lineup of high-definition game titles from the world's best publishers and developers â€” will make their debut in North America, Europe and Japan in time for this Christmas holiday, several months ahead of the competition. Although details for the Japan launch will be addressed at the Tokyo Game Show in September, the unprecedented three-region launch signifies an industry first. The Xbox 360 platform will deliver the most powerful console, the best games, the next generation of the Xbox LiveÂ® service, and amazing digital entertainment experiences never seen in console entertainment.
"The sheer entertainment value of Xbox 360 cannot be overstated," said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer for Microsoft. "While the system has the muscle to power awe-inspiring graphics, audio and online play, it's also got the intelligence to serve as a one-of-a-kind entertainment device that plays CDs, DVDs, MP3s and digital content from an array of devices, including portable music players and digital cameras."
With its built-in Ethernet port and free Silver level of service right out of the box, Xbox 360 also connects players to Xbox Live, the premier global online console games and entertainment network. With Xbox Live, gamers can chat with friends online, build and share gamer profiles, send and receive text and voice messages, and access Xbox Live Marketplace for new content such as game demos, trailers and casual games from Xbox Live Arcade. Subscribers to the Gold level of service will also enjoy access to online multiplayer gaming in their favorite games, as well as great promotional programs such as worldwide tournaments, the chance to play online with their favorite celebrities, and opportunities to win big prizes.
For gamers who want the ultimate experience (and the best value) right out of the box, Microsoft will offer the $399.99 U.S./â‚¬399.99/Â£279.99 Xbox 360 console. This premium edition â€” distinguished by signature metallic detailing on the console itself â€” comes fully loaded for the ultimate gaming experience, with components and accessories that would cost more than $200 if sold separately:
- Xbox 360 console. Sexy styling that packs a punch â€” three powerful core processors are poised to pump out 720p/1080i output, 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound and DVD playback right out of the box.
- Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20 GB). 20 GB and detachable, the hard drive allows gamers to store their games, music, downloaded trailers, levels, demos and community-created content from Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Hassle-free high-performance precision wireless gaming features the XboxÂ® Guide Button for quick access to digital movies, music and games libraries as well as a range and battery life of up to 30 feet and 30 hours of life on two AA batteries.
- Xbox 360 Faceplate. The removable Faceplate comes in stylish "chill" (white) and can be swapped out with custom Faceplates to reflect gamers' personalities or decor.
- Xbox 360 Headset. This lets gamers strategize with teammates or trash-talk opponents while playing games on Xbox Live.
- Xbox 360 Component HD-AV Cable. This connects gamers to the world of Xbox 360 games and graphics through high-definition and standard-definition connections.
- Xbox Live Silver membership. With this, gamers can chat with friends online, send and receive voice and text messages, and access new content from Xbox Live Marketplace demos such as trailers and casual games from Xbox Live Arcade.
- A bonus Media Remote: Included for a limited time, the integrated control center for the entire digital experience lets consumers play DVDs, movies and music, as well as access their WindowsÂ® XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC's controls with a single remote.
At $299.99 U.S./â‚¬299.99/Â£209.99, the Xbox 360 Core System comes standard with what consumers need to jump right into next-generation games and media, and is fully expandable to the complete Xbox 360 experience:
- Xbox 360 console. As with the premium edition, three powerful core processors pump out 720p/1080i output, 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound and DVD playback right out of the box.
- Xbox 360 Controller. This wired controller features an extended nine-foot cable and a comfortable, enhanced ergonomic design.
- Xbox 360 Faceplate. Like no other console before, the Xbox 360 console allows customization and a removable Faceplate that comes in stylish "chill" (white), which can be swapped out with other custom Faceplates to reflect gamers' personalities or decor.
- Xbox 360 Standard AV Cable. This connects gamers to the world of Xbox 360, delivering great next-generation graphics and games using standard-definition connections.
The Xbox 360 console also comes ready for customization. With an array of Xbox 360 accessories, gamers can trick out their systems to suit their individual tastes and personalize their experiences. In addition to an ever-growing selection of eye-catching Faceplates ($19.99 U.S./â‚¬19.99/Â£14.99), Xbox 360 Controller (estimated retail price $39.99 U.S./â‚¬34.99/Â£24.99*) and Component HD AV Cable (estimated retail price $39.99 U.S./â‚¬29.99/Â£19.99*), the lineup includes a wealth of accessories that brings next-generation gaming entertainment to its optimum:
- Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20 GB). 20 GB and detachable, the hard drive allows gamers to store their games, music, downloaded trailers, levels, demos and community-created content from Xbox Live Marketplace and more (estimated retail price $99.99 U.S./â‚¬99.99/Â£69.99*).
- Xbox 360 Memory Unit (64 MB). Easily portable, this lets gamers save games, in-game achievements and unique gamer profiles for quick and easy access on the go (estimated retail price $39.99 U.S./â‚¬34.99/Â£22.99*).
- Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. The same hassle-free high-performance precision wireless gaming that comes with the premium edition features the Xbox Guide Button for quick access to digital movies, music and games libraries as well as a range and battery life of up to 30 feet and 30 hours of life on two AA batteries (estimated retail price $49.99 U.S./â‚¬44.99/Â£32.99*).
- Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit. This allows plug and play for high-performance, precision wireless gaming with the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Gamers will be given ample warning when the end of battery life is nearing so they can connect the Play & Charge cable for uninterrupted play (estimated retail price $19.99 U.S./â‚¬19.99/Â£14.99*).
- Xbox 360 rechargeable battery pack. This provides up to 25 hours of gameplay for wireless gaming fun (estimated retail price $11.99 U.S./â‚¬14.99/Â£9.99*).
- Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adapter. With this, gamers can chat with friends and play games via Xbox Live, as well as stream videos and music to Xbox 360 from a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC, all without the clutter of wires (estimated retail price $99.99 U.S./â‚¬79.99 /Â£59.99*).
- Xbox 360 Headset. This heightens the Xbox Live experience by letting gamers strategize with teammates or trash-talk opponents while playing games (estimated retail price $19.99 U.S./â‚¬19.99/Â£14.99*).
- Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote. Sold as an accessory, this integrated control center for the entire digital experience lets consumers play DVDs, movies and music, as well as control a TV and their Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC controls with a single controller (estimated retail price $29.99 U.S./â‚¬29.99/Â£19.99*).
- Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable (U.S. only) Xbox 360 SCART AV Cable (Europe only). This versatile cable works for both high-definition and standard-definition TVs that use S-Video or composite video inputs. It provides optimal audio and video signal transfer (estimated retail price $29.99 U.S./â‚¬24.99/Â£17.99*).
- Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable. Gamers can experience high-definition gaming on flat-panel TV or VGA monitors. This cable provides optimal audio and video signal transfer (estimated retail price $39.99 U.S./â‚¬29.99/Â£19.99*).
"With both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 Core System, we're offering consumers real choice and real value," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for the Home Entertainment Division at Microsoft. "We're bringing true next-generation experiences into gamers' living rooms this Christmas holiday."
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around you. The system will launch this holiday season in Europe, Japan and North America, to be followed by availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live continues to transform and unite Xbox game communities worldwide, with a presence in 24 countries worldwide and a global community of more than 2 million members. As the first and only global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live offers world-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.* Actual retail prices may vary.
Microsoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox and Windows 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.