REDMOND, Wash., April 8, 2002 — Hailed widely as "video game of the year" and recipient of multiple industry awards for excellence, "Halo (TM) : Combat Evolved" has earned the distinguished honor of being the fastest million-unit seller ever for any next-generation console. According to NPDFunworldSM, the definitive source for toy and video games industry sales data, "Halo: Combat Evolved" recently crossed the magical 1 million mark in sales in the United States and Canada. Statistically, this means that more than six copies of "Halo: Combat Evolved" have been sold every minute of every day since its launch on Nov. 15, 2001.
"Halo: Combat Evolved" also has played a major role in helping the Xbox (TM) video game system from Microsoft Corp. set additional key sales records in the United States in just four months following its launch. The following milestones put Xbox on pace for long-term, worldwide success:
With nearly four games sold for every system purchased, Xbox has a higher attach rate than any next-generation console. Data shows that in the four-month period following the launch of Xbox, owners purchased 1.2 more games with their Xbox system than PlayStation 2 owners did, helping Xbox achieve 82 percent more software sales than PlayStation 2.
In just four months, Xbox has already catapulted to the No. 2 position among current game console sales.
Since its launch, Xbox has outperformed PlayStation 2 sales by 25 percent when comparing system sales during the first four months of each on the market.
"The demand for 'Halo: Combat Evolved' has been incredible from the very beginning," said Pete Roithmayr, vice president of Merchandising at Electronics Boutique. "It's reason alone to own an Xbox. Heck, it's the reason to play video games. 'Halo: Combat Evolved' is that good."
"We are thrilled that 'Halo: Combat Evolved' has won over Xbox gamers, with sales hitting 1 million units at an amazing pace," said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft. "There's nothing like it anywhere else. It's only on Xbox. If you haven't played 'Halo: Combat Evolved,' you're missing out on the best video game experience available."
Indicative of the growing worldwide popularity of the "Halo" brand, European gamers are also gravitating to the game less than one month after its launch. According to Chart-Track Ltd., a reputable marketing research tool on PC software and video games in the United Kingdom, 86 percent of all Xbox system purchasers have also bought a copy of "Halo: Combat Evolved." Gamers in Japan will get their opportunity to join the worldwide "Halo: Combat Evolved" fan base when the game is introduced there on April 25.
According to Fries, "Halo: Combat Evolved" is only the beginning. "Both Microsoft® Game Studios and our third-party developers in the industry will soon be announcing a large lineup of amazing new titles and services that will further demonstrate the gaming experience and graphics performance only available with Xbox."
In February 2002, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences bestowed "Halo: Combat Evolved" with its coveted Game of the Year award as well as awards for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering, Console Action/Adventure Game of the Year and Console Game of the Year. Equal praise has come from countless magazines and Web sites, including Game of the Year awards from Electronic Gaming Monthly and IGN.com.
Developed by Bungie Studios, "Halo: Combat Evolved" is a science-fiction first-person shooting game that takes place on a mysterious alien ring-world. It's available in stores for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).
NPDFunworld is the online source for the toy and video games industry to access essential market information and insights organized around business issues. Through powerful interactive features, NPDFunworld offers point-of-sale tracking and data from NPD's online consumer panel. Clients get a personalized view into what is selling, where, to whom and why. As the only resource of its kind, NPDFunworld provides the information needed to make critical business decisions. For more information, visit http://www.npdfunworld.com/.
Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia. More information on Xbox can be found at http://www.xbox.com/.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide game company with two core businesses: game development and publishing ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/) and Zone.com. Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet's largest game site.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, Halo and Xbox are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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