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As Xbox LIVE turns five, membership passes 8 mn

As Xbox LIVE turns five, membership soars past eight million
Microsoft unveils new download service for full Xbox games direct to your living room, beginning 4 December

AUCKLAND 14 November – This week, Microsoft celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Xbox LIVE service as the latest membership figures show that more than eight million people are now actively engaged in the largest social entertainment network on TV.

As a gesture of thanks to the LIVE community, all eight million members will have the opportunity to download a free Xbox LIVE Arcade game* between 10:01 p.m. NZT on 15 November and 09:59 p.m. NZT on 17 November.** Extending the thanks, every active member who joined the service in 2002 will receive a complimentary 500 MS Points.

In addition, starting on 4 December, all Xbox LIVE members will receive a free system update with a host of new features and enhancements. Included in this update will be the launch of the Xbox Originals, which – for the first time ever – will enable consumers to download and own full Xbox games, such as “Halo®”, “Psychonauts™”, “Crimson Skies®: High Road to Revenge™” and “Fable®” among others, directly to their Xbox 360.*** This new service will launch with an array of blockbuster titles spanning the most popular genres from action-adventure to classic role-playing games.

With no disc necessary, and at just 1200 Microsoft Points per game, Xbox LIVE members can easily rediscover favourite titles or check out a hit game they missed the first time around. This launch line-up is only the beginning as Xbox 360 owners can expect to see a growing catalogue of Xbox games for download to own over the coming year.

Tom Hunt, Xbox Product Marketing Manager, says, “Since its pioneering launch, Xbox LIVE has consistently lead the way in terms of innovative features and quality content. New services such as the Xbox Originals demonstrate precisely why Xbox LIVE is – and will remain – the premiere online destination for console gamers.”

Xbox LIVE has grown from a small community of gamers in two countries, playing a handful of games online with their friends, to a worldwide social network encompassing a wide range of digital entertainment. As friends across 26 countries and nine languages have connected on Xbox LIVE, it is their feedback and active participation that has guided the service to become what Wired magazine recently called “The king of the online arena”.

For more information about the downloadable games available on Xbox LIVE, the evolution of Xbox LIVE or the “Xbox LIVE is 5IVE” member rewards, visit www.xbox.co.nz

- ends -

About Xbox Live
Xbox LIVE is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox LIVE connects millions of members across 26 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox LIVE Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies in the United States as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers.
Xbox 360 will have a portfolio of more than 300 games and will be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Complimentary Xbox LIVE Arcade download includes “Hexic 2” in Korea, and “Carcassonne” in the rest of the world where Xbox LIVE is available
** Complimentary download available for 48 hours starting at 10:01 p.m. NZT on 15 November
*** Xbox Originals titles listed as an indication only. Actual launch titles may vary. Hard drive required

Xbox, Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 logo, Xbox LIVE, Halo, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and Fable are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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