LOS ANGELES — July 14, 2008 — As Xbox 360 readies for the next wave of audience expansion, Microsoft Corp. today announced a new Xbox experience that will reinvent home entertainment from the inside out, changing the way we play games, watch movies and TV shows, and even become contestants in game shows. It all begins this fall with a bold new look and feel that is fun, social and simple to use.
The announcement was made during the E3 Media and Business Summit in Los Angeles. It came amid the unveiling of an exclusive partnership with Netflix Inc. that will give Xbox 360 users instant access to more than 10,000 feature films and television shows with a click of a button.
Also on the docket: The best and broadest entertainment lineup the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system has ever seen. In its strongest broadening play yet, Xbox announced Xbox LIVE Primetime, the next evolution in game shows slated for Xbox LIVE this fall; TV shows and movies from world leaders in entertainment including NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel and USA Network domestically and Constantin and MGM internationally; and blockbuster games “Lips,” “Rock Band 2,” “Scene It? Box Office Smash,” “You’re in the Movies” and the much anticipated “Final Fantasy XIII.”
“We’re entering a new age in entertainment, and Xbox 360 is uniquely positioned to become the heart of the living room,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “The new Xbox experience offers more content than you can find from any device that connects to the television. That convergence of entertainment and gaming will bring new people and more families to the category, driving a record year for the games industry.”
“This year more than any other, Xbox 360 has something for everyone — whether you love playing games with friends or are simply looking for the best in entertainment,” Mattrick said.
Netflix Jumps In With Entertainment for Everyone
The exclusive partnership offers Netflix subscribers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Xbox 360 will be the only game console to offer this movie-watching experience, available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.
From the Netflix Web site, subscribers simply add movies and TV episodes to their instant Queue, which will appear automatically on the TV screen via Xbox 360. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to instantly streaming Netflix movies to the TV, Xbox LIVE Gold members can browse and rate movies, fast-forward, pause and rewind, all using either their Xbox 360 Controller or remote.
Netflix on Xbox 360 will launch this fall with the release of the new Xbox experience, a new generation of games and entertainment experiences that will be available for Xbox 360 this fall.
The New Xbox Experience
The new Xbox experience represents the first time in history that a mass market consumer electronics device has been reinvented through free software, giving people more fun and intuitive ways to interact, play and enjoy entertainment.
“Xbox LIVE is the world’s fastest-growing online social network on TV,” said John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Services Business at Microsoft. “We doubled our membership the past two years, growing from 3 million to 6 million, and then from 6 million to 12 million. And today, we are adding a new member every five seconds. With the best and broadest social entertainment experiences launching this fall, the future is limitless.”
Some of the features that make the new Xbox experience groundbreaking are the following:
• Entertainment without limits. With LIVE Party, bring your favorite games, TV shows, movies and pictures to life by sharing those experiences with friends, wherever they are around the world.
• Express yourself. With the new Xbox 360 experience, gamers can personalize their entertainment like never before. They can create their own avatar, designed exclusively by Rare Ltd., and jump into a party with friends from around the world.
• “Must See TV” and much, much more. The biggest names in entertainment worldwide, such as Netflix, NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel, USA Network, Constantin and MGM are bringing their content to Xbox 360.
360 Degrees of Entertainment
The 2008 Xbox 360 entertainment lineup of games, movies and TV shows is its best and broadest ever. Whether for fans of action, role-playing, racing, sports, strategy, party or action-adventure games, Xbox 360 has the biggest blockbusters and the most exclusive content in 2008 and beyond:
• The new game show. The new Xbox LIVE channel Xbox LIVE Primetime represents an all-new way to play. A collection of virtual game shows such as “1 vs. 100,” Xbox LIVE Primetime allows thousands of gamers to become contestants from their living rooms, playing together simultaneously, live with content that is always fresh and relevant. The global phenomenon “1 vs. 100” is created by Endemol, the world’s largest independent production company and the producer of the hit show “Deal or No Deal.” Xbox LIVE Primetime is available in North America, France, Germany and the U.K.
• Blockbusters. “Final Fantasy XIII” will be available on Xbox 360 at launch in North America and Europe. Xbox 360 is the only place gamers can play the year’s biggest games, such as “Gears of War 2,” “Resident Evil 5,” “Fable II” and exclusive “Grand Theft Auto IV” episodes.
• Music. Xbox 360 is the preferred stage for all the best music games, including “Lips,” “Rock Band 2,” “Guitar Hero World Tour” and “DanceDanceRevolution® UNIVERSE3.”
• Family. Xbox 360 gets the whole family playing with titles such as “Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts,” “Scene It? Box Office Smash” and “Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise.”
• Sports. Xbox 360 remains the best place to play sports titles, including leading franchises like “Madden NFL,” “Tiger Woods PGA Tour,” “NBA Live,” “NHL 2K” and more.
• TV and movie entertainment. Xbox is home to the best TV and movie entertainment, including exclusive games such as “You’re in the Movies” and “1 vs. 100,” exclusive films and TV from Netflix, and the world’s largest online library of on-demand high-definition TV shows and movies.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest games plus more standard and high-definition movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. The digital center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content, including personal pictures and music, with a unified online social network to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
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 more than 12 million 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.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.