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Let the Game Console Battles Begin

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, November 15, 2001

Let the battle between the video game consoles begin. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With the launch of Microsoft's Xbox ... which will be followed by Nintendo's Game Cube... .and both of them chasing Sony's industry leading PlayStation 2... .families looking to buy a new game console this holiday season... .face a tough decision. At BizRate.com... which tracks online shopping trends... CEO Chuck Davis says...

"The video game category is the biggest must have toy category for this holiday season."

What the Xbox offers is a console that's loaded with a hard drive... a high speed network connection... DVD capability... and a high end graphics engine from NVidia... where Bryan Del Rizzo tells us...

"What it provides to developers is just a real unique system to really customize and create a real immersive environment."

The Xbox sells for 300 dollars... the same as Sony's PlayStation 2... which has the largest library of games available ... and can play all of the original PlayStation games as well. How will Nintendo compete? VP Perrin Kaplan...

"At 199 dollars, we're a hundred dollars less than any of our competitors and that's really a good, mass consumer price point."

The cube itself is the smallest of the consoles... but will not play DVDs. But exclusive titles featuring the Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong... should be big selling points. At Microsoft, marketing manager Bridgitt Arnold says the real winner this year... .is the consumer... .

"Because they've got a lot to choose from and basically, it's driving the very best in innovation."

All three systems are expected to sell well through the holidays. The real survival test will come next year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.