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Microsoft's Secret Xbox Weapon

Techstination feature for Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Playstation 2 may still be number 1... but Microsoft says the game is far from over. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sony's Playstation 2 continues to outsell Microsoft's Xbox. Sony has sold more than 30 million of the consoles worldwide. It had a one year head start on the Xbox... which by the end of June... had sales of nearly four million. This holiday season... the two will be battling it out with new features for online play... .and lots of new titles. Ed Fries is Microsoft's VP for Xbox game content...

"By Christmas there will be two hundred games for the Xbox on shelf. And then, that's just the start because now we're really kind of turning on our secret weapon which is the online play built into every Xbox. And that's the ability to go up and meet other people from around the world and play games with people 24 hours a day online. Real time voice, we're the only people who are doing that. Xbox live is really going to revolutionize console gaming."

But owners will only be able to play online... if they have a high speed Internet connection. Dial up won't do. Fries tells us about 50 percent of current owners have broadband connections. Microsoft is working on the next generation Xbox... .and has vowed not to let Sony get a head start again...

"We're going to be in this business for a long time and we think it is really important and vital for the company."

And with Nintendo's GameCube trying to expand its reach beyond kids games... the video game console battle is really just getting started. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.