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Is the Xbox Better in Japan?

Techstination feature for Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Is the Xbox better in Japan? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft is counting on sales of Halo2 to sell more Xbox consoles this holiday season and close the gap with Sony's best selling PlayStation2 console. Between Halo2 and new online playable sports games from Electronic Arts….Microsoft expects more console owners to sign up for Xbox Live. The 50 dollar a year service, requires a high speed Internet connection. It lets gamers talk to each other by voice. But in Japan….Microsoft business development director Michael Mott says….Xbox Live will be even better….

"This holiday we're going to be testing video chat. The idea of being able to play your video game and chat and see each other while you're doing it. And we'll put around that some simple games. Board games, puzzle games, things that allow people to spend as much time seeing each other face to face."

As to why Microsoft will add video chat in Japan and not the U.S. or Europe….Mott says…

"We looked at Japan as a place where we really needed to innovate, to kind of outlast and outdo Sony. Japan is just a great place with high bandwidth. It's got a consumer market that's addicted to connecting with each other playing simple games on their iMode phones. So it seemed like a great place for us to bring together some of that bandwidth opportunity."

And for now, at least, Mott says…there are no plans to add video chat to the Xbox…in the U.S. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin