Xbox 360 price-cut for South Africa

Awesome news for the local gaming industry. The Xbox 360 was by far the prominent console platform at rAge Expo 2008 once again and it just goes to show how committed Microsoft South Africa are in succeeding in this market.

JOHANNESBURG – 6th October 2008 – Microsoft today announced the new lower ERP for its entire Xbox 360 family of consoles in South Africa. Enjoying evenings of entertainment at home with friends and families has never been more affordable and fun. Everyone has the ability to play high definition games, watch movies and share pictures, live out their musical fantasies and star in their own Hollywood classics — all from one console, starting at an estimated retail price (ERP) of only R 1799.99.

From today, Xbox 360, which includes a 60GB hard drive and one wireless controller, will have an ERP of R 2699.99. The Xbox 360 Elite, which comes with a massive 120GB hard drive enabling consumers to store huge quantities of content, will have an ERP of R 3499.99. The Xbox 360 Arcade console, perfect for those wishing to make their first foray into the gaming and entertainment world of Xbox, will have an ERP of R 1799.99.

The new ERPs are part of Microsoft’s ongoing strategy to open up the ultimate in high-definition gaming and entertainment to an even wider audience, with something for everyone.  To date and testament to this broadening approach, Xbox 360 has broken through the six million mark in Europe since the lower ERP’s were recently announced abroad. Along with the new Xbox experience, the Xbox 360 platform is offering a stunning games portfolio for all ages and interests this Christmas, with new titles for music lovers, family-friendly games, and exciting blockbuster titles for the committed gamer.

“We’re proud to be expanding the reach of Xbox as the first next-generation console to break the R2000 barrier, making the platform significantly more affordable than competitors” said Marc Batten, Head of, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business South Africa.  “History shows that the majority of console sales happen after this price point has been breached, and we’re well positioned to take advantage of this mass market pricing.  We’re passing on the benefits of being the first console to sell over 20 million units worldwide, and of the ever-expanding ecosystem of Xbox, to consumers. 

“In addition, with shoppers tightening their belts and feeling the pinch of prices on the rise, staying in is becoming a more viable form of sociable entertainment. In the line up for Christmas, you can expect over 90 new games launching including some really innovative entertainment experiences. Together with these groundbreaking new price points we hope to continue to enjoy fantastic momentum in South Africa.”. Adds Batten

Bringing Music Games to Life

Whether you’re an aspiring groupie, songbird or big-haired rocker, this Christmas Xbox 360 transforms your living room into a thrilling soundstage for you and your friends. No other system connects you with all the music you love:

· “Lips” (iNiS/Microsoft Game Studios). “Lips,” an all-new music franchise exclusively from Xbox 360, is the only singing party game that offers wireless motion-sensitive microphones and a robust and diverse list of songs representing multiple musical genres, ranging from pop, rock and dance to hip-hop, country and R&B.

· “Guitar Hero World Tour (RedOctane/Activision). The latest instalment from the No. 1 best-selling video game franchise of 2007, “Guitar Hero World Tour” will transform music gaming by marrying the exhilarating guitar gameplay of “Guitar Hero” with a cooperative band experience that combines the most advanced wireless instruments with revolutionary new online and offline gameplay modes.

Xbox 360 Is the Life of the Party

Xbox 360 truly gets the party started with a wide-ranging portfolio of exclusive games for the whole family, including:

· “You’re in the Movies” (Codemasters/Microsoft Game Studios). Get ready for your close-up. “You’re in the Movies” brings the cool factor to kitsch as you live out your dreams of becoming a scream queen, zombie or kung fu fighter. Premiering exclusively on Xbox 360 this holiday season, “You’re in the Movies” is the first and only game of its kind to literally transport players into a magical world of cinema mixed with the hilarious world of improvisation.

· “Scene It? Box Office Smash” (Krome Studios and Screenlife/Microsoft Game Studios). “Scene It? Box Office Smash,” the revolutionary movie trivia game on Xbox 360, will ignite your game night this Christmas with totally new questions, movie puzzles and more high-definition (HD) content from real movies including some of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters. With the New Xbox Experience, players can literally put themselves into the game through custom avatars that respond to play and react to one another throughout the course of the game. 

· “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” (Rare Ltd./ Microsoft Game Studios). Available exclusively on Xbox 360 in November, from the creative masterminds at Rare, “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” is an action-adventure game that breathes new life into a franchise that has entertained people of all ages for a decade. In a platform genre first, players create their own abilities by building vehicles for Banjo to pilot over land, sea and air in a variety of Challenges where their choice of vehicle and tactics determines the course of the adventure.

· “Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise” (Rare Ltd. /Microsoft Game Studios). In this sequel to the colourful sleeper hit “Viva Piñata”, players can venture outside the boundaries of the immersive and ever-changing garden to retrieve exotic piñata species from two new lands, the Dessert Desert and the Piñarctic.

The Biggest Blockbusters of 2008 and Beyond

With the most popular blockbuster games to date and some highly- anticipated titles in 2008 and beyond, Xbox 360 is the pre-eminent place to play all the big titles that gamers thirst for, including the following:

· Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks).  Included in “Fallout 3” is an expansive world, unique combat, shockingly realistic visuals, tons of player choice, and an incredible cast of dynamic characters. Every minute is a fight for survival against the terrors of the outside world—radiation, super mutants, and hostile mutated creatures.

· “Fable II” (Lionhead Studios/Microsoft Game Studios). This Xbox 360 exclusive action role-playing game offers players an epic storyline and an unprecedented level of freedom and choice. Every decision defines who the player becomes and influences the evolving world around them.

· “Gears of War 2” (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios). “Gears of War 2” is the most anticipated Xbox 360 exclusive title this holiday season and will be released worldwide Nov. 7.

· “Tomb Raider: Underworld” (EIDOS).  “Tomb Raider: Underworld” represents a new advancement in exploration-based gameplay. As fearless adventurer Lara Croft explore exotic locations around the world, each designed with an incredible attention to detail resulting in breathtaking high-definition visual fidelity that creates a truly believable world and delivers a new level of challenge and choice.

· James Bond: Quantum of Solace (Treyarch/Activision Inc.)  James Bond is back to settle the score in Activision Inc.’s Quantum of Solace video game.  Introducing a more lethal and cunningly efficient Bond, the game blends intense first-person action with a unique third-person cover combat system allowing players to truly experience what it is like to be the ultimate secret agent as they use their stealth, precision shooting and lethal combat skills to progress through missions.

· Prince of Persia (Ubisoft).  “Prince of Persia” is set in a land rooted in ancient Persian mythology, with the Prince finding himself caught in an epic battle between the primal forces of light and darkness.  Master the acrobatics, strategy and fighting tactics of the most agile warrior of all time. Grip fall down the face of a building, perform perfectly timed acrobatic combinations, swing over canyons, buildings, and anything that is reachable. 

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