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XBOX European Launch Portfolio Announced

by Rainier on Feb. 27, 2002 @ 6:40 p.m. PST

Microsoft today announced that Xbox, the future-generation video game system, will launch on 14th March 2002 with 20 titles on day one, and a total of 60 titles throughout the launch window (up until the end of June). The portfolio includes US best-sellers Halo, Project Gotham Racing and Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee (all from Microsoft Games Studios) as well as 3rd-party titles such as Max Payne (Take-Two Interactive), Dead or Alive 3 (Tecmo), FIFA World Cup 2002 (Electronic Arts) and Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Activision)
The 20 titles available on 14th March make up the strongest and most critically-acclaimed launch portfolio ever in Europe. Microsoft Games Studios titles such as Halo (hailed as “the most important launch game for any console ever” by influential games magazine Edge), Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and RalliSport Challenge will all be on sale from 14th March. They will be joined by hotly-anticipated 3rd-party titles such as Max Payne, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (Activision), Dead or Alive 3, Transworld Surf (Infogrames), Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions, and Jet Set Radio Future (Sega).

More titles will be on sale in the two weeks following the launch of Xbox. These include F1 2002 (Electronic Arts), Genma Onimusha (Capcom), Championship Manager: Season 01/02 (Eidos), and Shrek (TDK Mediactive).

And, a steady stream of titles will support Xbox up to June 2002, including FIFA World Cup 2002 (Electronic Arts), International Superstar Soccer 2 (Konami), Moto GP (THQ), Spiderman: The Movie (Activision), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Electronic Arts) and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (Universal Interactive).

“We are understandably very proud of the launch portfolio for Xbox,” said Sandy Duncan, Vice President, Xbox Europe. “No other console in history has ever launched with such a diverse range of titles in all of the key European genres, and with such strong support from the world’s best 3rd-party publishers. All genres are represented – we’ve got European-centric sports titles like FIFA and ISS 2, great racing games like Project Gotham Racing, RalliSport Challenge and F1 2002, fighting titles like Dead or Alive 3, adventure titles such as Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, and first-person shooters like the already-legendary Halo. Halo and Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions, among others, represent the beginning of new Xbox-exclusive franchises, joined by established franchises like FIFA and Tony Hawk.

“But it’s not just quantity,” said Duncan. “Games in the Xbox launch portfolio have won critical acclaim around the world. Halo, for instance, is one of only a handful of games ever to garner 10 out of 10 scores in Edge Magazine. And the Xbox editions of multi-platform titles such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Max Payne and ISS2 are widely regarded in the media to be the definitive versions. This shows that the power of Xbox can breathe new life into existing franchises because of the incredible graphics horsepower and features such as the in-built hard drive

“We are encouraged by the incredible success of Xbox in the US, where we outsold Gamecube and can boast the industry’s highest-ever games attach rate at a console’s launch – over three copies of software were sold with every Xbox, showing clearly that we are offering an unprecedented balance of choice and quality. And the Xbox versions of multi-platform games sold better than other versions during the holiday period, without exception.” said Duncan. “We’re looking forward to bringing these excellent games to Europe – 14th March is going to be a great day for European gamers.”

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