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Game Console Connections

Techstination feature for Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Game console connections. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Last year during the holidays Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were battling for supremacy among the next generation of video game consoles. This holiday season it's all about selling games. And while all have added online play capability... Microsoft has taken the lead with Xbox Live. The 50 dollar starter kit which includes a game and a headset for online communication went on sale in November...

"We've sold over 150 thousand to retailers and we're replenishing in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So we're just thrilled. We've already surpassed our own expectations for this holiday."

Scott Henson is director of platform strategies for the Xbox at Microsoft. Microsoft is running its own server for the growing number of Xbox games ... and the 50 dollar starter kit covers the subscription for the first year of play. As for what Microsoft will charge after the first year... Henson says the company doesn't know...

"We don't. We're looking at all kinds of different things. We're going out and doing what you would expect us to do. Going and talking to gamers and asking them... hey, what do you guys want to see? Initial results are that we get varied opinions on this."

On the downside, the online play capability of the Xbox is only available if you have a high speed DSL or cable Internet connection. But the voice communication between players is the killer application ... and requires the bandwidth. Microsoft's goal is to have ten million subscribers over the next four or five years. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.