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Only Days To Nirvana For Kiwi Gamers

MEDIA RELEASE: September 26, 2002


Xbox pre-orders running at high levels;

Retailers to stay open on launch night

With less than a week to the New Zealand launch of the world's most powerful gaming system, already retailers are reporting strong demand for Microsoft's Xbox.

And to mark its biggest consumer launch of the year, Microsoft is throwing a free party in Auckland on the night of Wednesday October 2.

On the same night, retailers around the country will start selling Xboxes from 10pm.

Specialist games retailers and department stores alike are reporting strong demand for the new generation gaming system. Phil McPhee from The Gamesman says he has strong pre-order sales levels from all nine of the company's outlets nation-wide.

"Pre-order is going extremely well - already we've sold about 30 per cent of our initial allocation on pre-order and there's still a week to go before launch.

"I expect to sell up to 70 per cent of our allocated stock by launch date."

Very happy

Dick Smith Electronics senior buyer Bronwyn Knight echoes Mr McPhee's comments. "There's been a steady stream of inquiries and orders both on our games web site and in our stores. We're very happy with the pre-sales campaign."

The company has promoted pre-orders on its web site and through its Game On dedicated mailer.

For serious gamers and to help make first-night queuing worthwhile, most Xbox retailers are offering special hardware and software bundles.

Dick Smith Electronics is including an additional $79 hand controller and an official Xbox magazine in the $499 console price at selected Auckland and Wellington stores for people who pre-order.

The company's stores are open between 10pm and 11pm on opening night and the first 10 customers to buy an Xbox in four Auckland stores and two in Wellington can get a special hardware-software bundle saving them $186.

The Gamesman stores have three different bundles with savings of up to $130 plus a free $50 voucher that can be redeemed progressively $10 a time on future software purchases.

The Gamesman is handling retail sales at the official launch venue in Auckland and the company's bundles will be available to those who buy at the event.

Free party

The free event at the Staircase Nightclub in Auckland's Karangahape Road features four of the country's hottest new acts and is open to the public on a first-come basis. There is room for about 1,000 members of the public with the doors to the venue opening at 9.45pm.

Performers at the one-off show are Rhombus, PanAm, King Kapisi and Blindspott. Because of the location it is an R18 event.

Prior to the party, Ric and the team from Sky TV's popular Sports Café will 'gate-crash' the Xbox launch with a special broadcast from the venue for Microsoft's invited guests.

For those who can't make it to the launch party, radio station Channel Z will broadcast live from the event.

From Thursday October 3, Kiwi gamers will be able to buy their Xboxes at Big Byte, Bond & Bond, Central Park Interactive, Dick Smith Electronics, Electronics Boutique, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and The Gamesman stores.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game system which delivers the most powerful game play experience ever. Xbox gives gamers and developers the technology to fulfil their creative visions as never before with games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. The Xbox features the most powerful graphics processor of any game console, a built-in hard disk, built-in broadband capability, real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound support throughout the entire game and DVD capability. For the latest New Zealand news and updates go to About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Xbox and Microsoft are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.


Issued for Xbox by Pead PR

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