“It feels great to kick off the global rollout of Xbox with a record-breaking launch in North America,” said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. “In 2002, we’re excited to bring Xbox to the world with our upcoming launches in Japan, Europe and Australia. We’ll also be offering more great games and exciting online experiences like never before.”
The success of the North American launch has fueled worldwide excitement for Xbox, which is on track to launch in Japan on Feb. 22, and in Europe and Australia on March 14. In Monday’s CES keynote address, Bach discussed the company’s commitment to making Xbox a global success and showed new, cutting-edge Xbox game titles, including “JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future” from Sega and “RalliSport Challenge” from Microsoft® Game Studios.
Games on Xbox
Five new exclusive Xbox games — including “NBA Inside Drive 2002” and “RalliSport Challenge” from Microsoft Game Studios, “WRECKLESS: The Yakuza Missions” from Activision Inc., “WWF Raw®” from THQ Inc. and “JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future” from Sega — were showcased to the media at CES, offering a glimpse of the unbelievable experiences gamers will be enjoying in the coming months.
Online Gaming: The Next Step in Video Games
At CES, Bach underscored the ongoing commitment of Microsoft to deliver games and an online games service that take full advantage of today’s online technology. Currently, there are 27 publishers creating online games for Xbox and a greater number of Microsoft employees are working on the Xbox online service than were originally devoted to engineering the console itself.
“Online console gaming will play a significant role in the future of video games. Gamers will be able to compete against one another online, play games that evolve over the course of months, and download new levels, weapons and characters,” Bach said. “Xbox is clearly positioned to lead the way in the online gaming revolution.”
The rollout of the Xbox online gaming service in the first half of this year will give gamers the ability to easily find and play games online with friends, and communicate with other gamers in real time using their own voice through the hands-free Xbox Communicator. Xbox online gaming will feature fast downloads of new characters, new vehicles and new levels to keep games fresh while also enabling episodic games.
Xbox is the first and only video game system designed from its inception to be ready to play Xbox games right out of the box, due to the following features:
- A hard disk drive for storing episodic content delivery and new vehicles, new characters, and new game levels for favorite games
- An Ethernet port for fast-action, always-on broadband connectivity
- Slots in the Xbox game controller designed for real-time voice communication using the Xbox Voice Communicator