Thesis on Video Games Essay

A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or modified computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device (a television, monitor, etc. ) to display a video game. The term “video game console” is used to distinguish a machine designed for consumers to buy and use solely for playing video games from a personal computer, which has many other functions, or arcade machines, which are designed for businesses that buy them and then charge others to play. I. PLAYSTATION 3 The PlayStation family is the world’s highest-selling video game system.

Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation in 1995, followed by the PlayStation 2 in 2000, PlayStation Portable in 2004, and PlayStation 3 in 2006. Sony’s first foray into the video game market,the PlayStation (codenamed PSX during development, now known as PS one), was initially designed as an add-on for Nintendo’s Super (Super Famicom) video game console as an answer to Sega’s Sega CD. When the prospect of releasing the system as an add-on dissolved, Sony transformed it into the standalone PlayStation video game console.

Sony’s follow-up console, the PlayStation 2 (PS2), currently the world’s best-selling console in history, was released in Japan on March 4, 2000 and in North America on October 26, 2000. The PSP or PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console made by Sony Computer Entertainment; a first foray into the handheld gaming market which was previously dominated by Nintendo. Though it has not had as much as of an impact as the PlayStation home consoles, the PSP is noted as being the most successful competitor to Nintendo’s handheld range yet.

The newest console in the PlayStation series is Sony’s entry in the seventh generation of consoles, the PlayStation 3 (PS3), which launched in November 2006. It uses a unique processing architecture called the Cell microprocessor, a technology jointly developed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM. The graphics processing unit, the RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’, was co-developed by NVIDIA and Sony. It is currently behind its competitors, the Xbox 360 and Wii in terms of sales. II. Xbox 360 The Xbox 360 is the video game console produced by Microsoft, and the successor to the Xbox.

The Xbox 360 competes with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. A prominent feature of the Xbox 360 is its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. Major features of the console include its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities, mandatory support of high definition in all games, movie rentals and game downloads from its online marketplace and the ability to watch HD DVD movies with an add-on drive.

The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic. The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan, and, as of January 5, 2009, 28 million units have been sold worldwide, according to Microsoft. The Xbox 360 is currently available in three configurations: the “Arcade,” the “Pro,” and the “Elite” console, each with its own selection of accessories. III. Nintendo Wii The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo.

As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of both. As of December 31, 2008 the Wii leads the generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales. A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device anddetect movement in three dimensions.

Another distinctive feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. The Wii is Nintendo’s fifth home console, the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube, and able to play all official GameCube games. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled the system at the 2005 E3. Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in four key markets. 1. 1. 2 GPU (Graphics Processing Units).

A graphics processing unit or GPU (also occasionally called visual processing unit or VPU) is a specialized processor that offloads 3D graphics rendering from the microprocessor. It is used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics, and their highly parallel structure makes them more effective than general-purpose CPUs for a range of complex algorithms. In a personal computer, a GPU can be present on a video card, or it can be on the motherboard.

More than 90% of new desktop and notebook computers have integrated GPUs, which are usually far less powerful than those on a dedicated video card. I. NVIDIA NVIDIA a multinational corporation which specializes in the development of graphics processing units and chipset technologies for workstations, personal computers, and mobile devices. Based in Santa Clara, California, the company has become a major supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and chipsets used in graphics cards, and of video-game consoles and personal-computer motherboards.

Notable Nvidia product-lines include the GeForce series for gaming, the Quadro series for computer-aided design and for digital content creation on workstations, and the nForce series of integrated motherboard chipsets. II. RADEON ATI Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that since 2000 has been manufactured by ATI Technologies and subsequently AMD and is the successor to their Rage line. There are four different groups, which can be differentiated by the DirectX generation they support.

More specific distinctions can also be followed, such as the HyperZ version, the number of pixel pipelines, and of course, the memory andprocessor clock speeds. 1. 2PROBLEM STATEMENT: “EXTREME GAMERS’ DEMAND PLAYSTATION 3 RATHER THAN PCs” * Is there sufficient demand and awareness for the higher end console like Sony Play station 3 * Is it better to face the competition with previous Play Station 2 and X box that are already in the market * Is there any know how of Blue-ray technology among the young generation that are more towards console gaming.

* How difficult is to grab the existing market of PC gamers to feedt them with Game consoles. 1. 3SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY: * This study evaluates all aspects of the economic viability of the business venture including a description and analysis of your business prospects. * It serves as a benchmark against which, actual performance can be measured and reviewed. * It serves as a helpful tool to uncover weaknesses in the planning process for a gaming business. * It helps the management and / or an entrepreneur to clarify, focus and research their business’s or project’s development and prospects.

* It serves as a basis for discussion with third parties such as banks, investors, lenders etc. The major focus of investors is on the risk and return on the investments. This research study would increase their awareness of the major factors that directly or indirectly affect the risk and return on their investments. 1. 4SCOPE AND DELIMITATION: The study has been undertaken to explore the potential customers’ preference between Game Consoles or Gaming PCs in Karachi. Primary data would be collected through prospective Gamers residing in Karachi only.

I. LIMITING FACTORS:

* Bias opinion of the respondents * Time limitation * PC Gamers II. DELIMITATIONS: The factors that delimit the findings of the study are: * The expected fierce competition from existing DVD 9 and DVD supported consoles and other HD-CD consoles * Lack of awareness from Game titles as most of the titles of Playstation 3 are built upon Direct X 10. 0, where as other consoles are using Direct X 9. 0c * 1. 5DEFINITIONS: Sony Computer Entertainment Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. is a video game company specializing in a variety of areas in the video game industry, and is a full subsidiary of Sony.

The company was established on November 16, 1993 in Tokyo, Japan prior to the launch of the original PlayStation video game system. The logo has been used since 1994. SCE is also a developer and publisher of video game titles, and is comprised of biggest markets in: North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. DirectX Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectSound, and so forth.

DirectX, then, was the generic term for all of these APIs and became the name of the collection Blu-ray Blu-ray Disc (also known as Blu-ray or BD) is an optical disc storage medium designed by Sony to supersede the standard DVD format. Its main uses are high-definition video and data storage with 50GB per disc. The disc has the same physical dimensions as standard DVDs and CDs.

Video game console A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or electronic device that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device (a television, monitor, etc.) to display a video game. The term “video game console” is used to distinguish a machine designed for consumers to buy and use solely for playing video games from a personal computer, which has many other functions, or arcade machines, which are designed for businesses that buy and then charge others to play. Seventh generation In the history of video games, the seventh generation primarily focuses on the consoles released since 2004 by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.

PlayStation Portable The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Development of the console was first announced during 2003, and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004 at a Sony press conference. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, and in the PAL region on September 1, 2005 Nintendo DSi The Nintendo DSi is the third iteration of the Nintendo DS handheld developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The handheld was unveiled on October 2, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan during the Nintendo Conference.

It was released in Japan on November 1, 2008, Australia on April 2, 2009, Europe on April 3, 2009 and North America on April 5, 2009. Nvidia Nvidia is a multinational corporation specializing in the development of units and chipset technologies for workstations, personal computers, and mobile devices. Based in Santa Clara, California, the company has become a major supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and chipsets used in graphics cards, and video-game consoles and personal-computer motherboards.

Radeon

ATI Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that since 2000 has been manufactured by ATI Technologies and subsequently AMD and is the successor to their Rage line. There are four different groups, which can be differentiated by the DirectX generation they support. More specific distinctions can also be followed, such as the HyperZ version, the number of pixel pipelines, and of course, the memory and processor clock speeds. RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’ The RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’ graphics processing unit is a graphics chip design co-developed by NVIDIA and Sony for the PlayStation 3 gaming console.

Unless otherwise noted, the following specifications are based on a press release by Sony at the E3 2005 conference, slides from the same conference, and slides from a Sony presentation at the 2006 Game Developer’s Conference E3 The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is used by many video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware. The new E3 Expo is run by International Data Group (IDG) instead of by ESA.

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CHAPTER # 2 RESEARCH- METHODOLOGIES 2. 1RESEARCH DESIGN I. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: An exploratory study is being undertaken for research on “The intense Gamers’ Demand Game Consoles Rather Then Gaming PCs” which would help in identifying market of the gamers about their preferences and affordability between a Game console and a PC. II. EXTENT OF RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE: Since this study is conducted in the natural environment, the extent of researcher interference is minimal or rather negligible.

III. UNIT OF ANALYSIS:

Unit of analysis for this research study includes: * Individuals: * PC Gamers * Console Gamers IV. TIME HORIZON: For my research report, data would be gathered just once, therefore the time horizon is cross-sectional study. 2. 2RESPONDENTS OF THE STUDY For this research study, the questionnaire is filled by 100 individuals (University Students, Gamers at Game Arenas) and unstructured interview is taken from two Extreme Gamers. The respondents of the study include: * Potential Gamers: Teenagers and Early 20s, residing at Karachi. * Extreme Gamers: PC and Console preferred.

2. 3RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS Two instruments would be used for this research: * Questionnaires * Unstructured interviewing 2. 4SAMPLING Sampling would be done randomly on basis of users of Console and PC gamers. 2. 5SOURCE OF DATA I. PRIMARY DATA Primary data would be collected through questionnaire filled by potential gamers i. e. the target market and unstructured interviews from intense Gamers. II. SECONDARY DATA Secondary data would be comprised of sources like magazines, newspapers, internet etc, which will help in understanding the topic more.

2. 6TREATMENT OF DATA Data that is collected through the research is analyzed qualitatively as well as quantitatively. The data is shifted and organization is a presentable shape through pie charts and tables, with comprehensive explanatory notes to make it easy to understand. The financial plan contains projected financial statements as well as other financial tools to support the analysis.

CHAPTER # 3 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 3. 1FOREIGN LITERATURE 3. 1. 1PC vs. Console By Dave Spohn, About.

com Guide Feb 10 2009 It wasn’t that long ago that the PC was the only choice you had if you wanted to play games online. The first console that included a modem for online play was the Sega Dreamcast, which launched in Japan in 1998. The Dreamcast wasn’t a big success, however, and went out of production in 2001. It wasn’t until the second half of 2002 that PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube introduced online capabilities. Naturally, the latest generation of consoles all has features that use the Internet to enhance game play.

Today, online console games are quite common, with Microsoft’s Xbox Live service leading the way. Sony also has big plans for online content for the PlayStation 3, and consoles are now starting to get game downloads and other applications formerly only available on the PC, such as Web browsers. A few titles can now be played across platforms, such as Final Fantasy XI, in which PS2, Xbox 360, and PC users explore the same online world. That said, PCs still offer the largest selection of online games, and some of the most popular online games, such as World of War craft, are exclusive to the PC.

Of course, there are many things to consider before deciding on a gaming platform. Foremost among these is deciding which games you want to play, how much money you want to spend, and whether or not you need a PC for other purposes. Ideally I suppose we would all have both a console and a PC, but if that’s not an option, here is quick comparison of the two. Console Advantages The most obvious advantage consoles have over PCs is cost. The majority of consoles sell for well under $500, often with a couple games in the bundle.

A PC adequate for running the latest games can easily cost twice that much. The second most obvious advantage is simplicity. Let’s face it, PC gaming can be a technical nightmare compared to console gaming. People can actually take a console home and be playing a game within minutes. No operating systems to configure or drivers to update, and better still, no purchasing a game only to find out that it isn’t compatible with your PC for some obscure reason. Multiplayer gaming is also made easy with companies like Microsoft offering online services for their product.

The Xbox, which came equipped with a network card, raised the bar for consoles in this regard, making it a simple matter to hook it up to a DSL or Cable Internet connection and get into a multiplayer game on Xbox Live, complete with voice chat. Another appealing thing about consoles is that many people prefer to play games sitting on the couch, or they want to play with friends in the same room. While these things are possible on a PC, consoles are extremely well-suited for this right out of the box. Console games are more readily rented than PC games, and more easily returned to the retailer if you’re not satisfied with them.

Generally speaking, it is difficult to return PC games because they are easy to copy. Console games tend to have a relatively low learning curve. You might need fast thumbs, but you certainly won’t need to spend hours in a “tutorial” trying to learn how to operate basic game functions. Console Disadvantages Although sealing everything into one unit does keep it simple, when some of the components inside the box become dated there’s no way to solve the problem without replacing the entire console. In most cases, upgrades that could prolong the life of the system are not an option.

Consoles perform only one task really well, where PCs can be used for an extremely wide range of things. Some console manufacturers are trying to make them a little more flexible, but it will clearly be a long time before they support the staggering variety of applications that can be found for PCs. There is a distinct lack of inter-connectivity between the different console brands. Many games are available for one type of console but not others, and when it comes to online play, each is typically restricted to its own network.

This means that people with Xboxes can usually only play against other people with Xboxes, so, for example, there is no way for console gamers to jump into a fray on one of the countless PC Counter-Strike servers available. The PS2 has made some progress in this area, forging the way for cross-platform gaming between PS2 and PC users, but only a few titles support this right now. While the PS2 network adapter supports both 56K modem and broadband connections to the Internet, broadband is required for Xbox online play.

As well, Microsoft charges a yearly fee for use of the Xbox Live service. PC Advantages One of the biggest advantages the PC has over consoles right now is that there are a lot more games available for the PC than there are for consoles, particularly when it comes to multiplayer online games. Not only are the vast majority of MMOGs designed for the PC, but PC gamers also have the option to play MUDs, email games, browser games, and a wide variety of titles that are distributed digitally or available as free downloads.

As mentioned above, another clear advantage PCs have over consoles is that you can use them for a lot more than playing games. Furthermore, if you like to modify games or edit maps for them, a PC is essential, and you have to take a break from gaming sometime to read gaming sites. PCs are always on the cutting edge of gaming technology. The current generation of consoles with high-definition capabilities did briefly narrow the gap, but well-equipped PCs continue to offer superior graphics.

Computer monitors can be found with considerably higher resolutions than HDTVs, and the latest multi-core processors and dual GPU solutions make it possible to build a remarkably powerful game system. Even if a console offers incredible technology upon its release, there is no way for it to compete with the rapid hardware advancements that have become a way of life in the computer industry. When it comes online gaming, PCs give people a variety of ways to connect to the Internet, and to each other, which aren’t restricted to proprietary services or software.

Different brands of computer and event different operating systems generally communicate very well with one another. This is quite different from services like Xbox Live, for example, which is the only option available to Xbox users that want to play online, and is closed to everyone that doesn’t have an Xbox. Finally, as your PC ages, there is a reasonable chance of extending its gaming life with a component upgrade, although it can get a bit messy. PC Disadvantages While PCs have come down considerably in price over the years, they are still quite expensive compared to consoles.

There ways to economize on a PC, such as building it yourself, but it’s not easy to get the cost of a PC down to a price comparable to even the most expensive console. Computers are also getting a little more user friendly, but eventually every PC gamer will encounter some technical complication that interferes with their gaming, be it a device driver that needs updating or components that are simply incompatible. PCs are also much more vulnerable to viruses and other security breaches. The truth is, installing a game on your computer is always a bit of a gamble.

You never really know if it’s going to work until you’re actually playing the game, and even then, in the back of your mind, you’re expecting it to crash at any moment. Unlike most console games, PC games have the potential to get ridiculously complicated. This can give a game depth, but it can also result in tedious arrays of keyboard commands and lengthy tutorials which one must endure to learn how to play. PC games are often not well-suited for playing on the couch, especially given that the mouse and keyboard are the preferred PC game controllers.

Unlike console games, you also won’t find many PC games that support two players on one machine at the same time. Final Thoughts The latest round of consoles has a lot to offer online gamers, and if you’re into sports and racing titles, consoles are a good way to go. If you like massively multiplayer games and online shooters, there are a great deal more to choose from on the PC. Online play options for consoles are getting better all the time, but proprietary networks and fees for services like Xbox Live make them a bit less attractive.

For the most part, PCs are still the dominant platform for online gaming, and that appears likely to continue for a while yet. 3. 1. 23rd Generation Xbox Specs for 2011 Published: November 9, 2009 by Chairman Steve It’s early enough to start speculating on the next Xbox (Xbox 3, Xbox 720). We’ll need a timeframe for the launch before estimating specs. Q4 2010 would be the earliest, while Q4 2011 I think is the most likely. So let’s say Q4 2010 to Q4 2012. Anything in that range would have similar specs. The goals should be (1) low-cost reliable hardware with enough performance and (2) great tools for game developers.

In other words, don’t put a furnace in the box, don’t stuff it with costly unnecessary features, and don’t expect developers to fumble with a million threads each with its own 1K local memory. Keep it simple on both ends. I think Microsoft will stick with PowerPC CPU and ATI GPU. There is no reason to switch unless another solution allows lower cost for the hardware and/or software. Maybe AMD could offer a nice deal for a CPU/GPU combo, but PowerPC would allow simple backward compatibility with Xbox 360. The Main Processor The CPU will obviously be multi-core and at least triple-core.

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I think quad-core is enough with 2MB L2 shared cache. Combine that with an array of smaller cores accessed via an API similar to a PPU or GPU. 16MB eDRAM (or Z-RAM) cache may be something to consider to meet the bandwidth requirement of all those cores. The alternative would be 8 main cores, 4MB L2, and no smaller cores. The Graphics Processor An evolution of Radeon HD (R600) and the Xbox 360 GPU (Xenos) would be fine. Add more shader and texture pipes/processors. Increase the clock speed. And update the shader model (6. 0? ). eDRAM should be enough to fit 1920×1080 32-bit with 2x MSAA without tiling.

That’s 32MB. Memory Advancing memory is simple. Increase capacity and bandwidth. We’ll need 2GB to 4GB of high-speed main memory. 2GB fast GDDR5/GDDR6 plus 512MB (or 1GB) slower RAM could be interesting. Not everything needs blistering speed. A relatively slow auxiliary memory could be a cost-effective way to maximize the use of main memory. Storage Drives Some next generation big budget games could use more space than DVD, and HD-DVD with a speed of 4x or 6x may be economical in 2011, as long as the format still exists. A holographic format is doubtful but would please the tech nerds on the Net.

As for disc bandwidth, 6x HD-DVD would be the equivalent of 19. 5x DVD and not a large leap over 12x DVD from Xbox 360. Too slow for the load time nerds? Games may need large RAM, some auxiliary RAM, or a drive cache to help decrease the number of disc accesses. An option to “install” to the HDD would be nice. A hard disk drive I expect will be optional and swappable again, but all systems may come with some storage, HDD or Flash. HDD sizes may start at 250GB, while an “Elite” model has 750GB. Communication Ethernet and WiFi for networking should be standard. USB is the obvious choice for wired peripherals.

What about wireless devices (controllers, etc. )? They could use the same proprietary protocol from Xbox 360 and/or Wireless USB. Controller Were you waiting for this part? The decision for what will be the standard controller can wait. Microsoft has time to gauge what consumers want. For now, I’ll pencil in a wireless traditional game controller with some improvements such as TouchSense Vibration. A motion sensing wand could also be available separately packed with a casual game. Other options are a standard two-piece (or three with headset) motion controller or a standard 3D camera.

Spec Summary 32nm Chip Process Technology IBM CPU at 4. 8GHz (4 Main Cores + Many Small Cores) ATI GPU at 800MHz 2GB GDDR5 Main RAM (~80 GB/sec) 512MB Auxiliary RAM HD-DVD 6x Drive (216Mbps) 250GB 2. 5-inch HDD Ethernet, WiFi, USB Flash Memory Unit Slots 3. 1. 3NVIDIA Tegra Provides The Multimedia Muscle In Zune HD World’s First Ultra-Low-Power HD Processor Behind Microsoft’s Next-Generation Portable Digital Media Player Wednesday, May 15, 2009 NVIDIA today announced that Microsoft’s new Zune HD portable media player is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra processor, which gives it exceptional multimedia capabilities.

The Zune HD player, which Microsoft recently announced is available for preorder, is the first portable media player to combine HD-compatible video, HD Radio receiver, full-screen Internet browsing, an organic light emitting diode touch screen, and Wi-Fi. These features will connect consumers to a whole new world of entertainment, while delivering excellent battery life. Working closely with Microsoft and optimizing the Tegra processor, NVIDIA has played an important role in helping to bring the next-generation Zune HD portable digital media player to market.

“Tegra provides the multimedia muscle in Zune HD,” said Michael Rayfield, general manager of NVIDIA’s mobile business. “Users will love the device’s new design, amazing multimedia features and HD video out capability. Zune HD is a must-have for anyone looking for the best portable digital media player on the market. ” Key to Tegra’s rich multimedia features are eight independent processors, each designed for a specific class of tasks – among them are an HD video processor, an audio processor, a graphics processor, and two ARM cores. The processors can work together or independently to minimize power consumption.

The Microsoft Zune HD uses the following NVIDIA Tegra technology to deliver a unique visual experience: * an HD video processor dedicated to HD video, providing unprecedented picture quality and ultra-smooth, vivid movie playback with low power consumption * an ultra-low power graphics processor for a compelling and intuitive user interface.

* NVIDIA nPower technology, which optimizes system power use and enables extended HD video and MP3 playback time Based on NVIDIA’s decade of graphics leadership, Tegra processor has been engineered over the past five years to bring high performance and low power capabilities to the next generation of mobile computing devices such as portable media players, smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks and tablets.

Tegra processor-based devices are delivering the experiences that today’s mobile consumers demand, with HD video playback, always-on HD Internet, and intuitive 3D user interfaces. There are 50 active Tegra processor-based design projects currently in the works today.

SOURCE: NVIDIA 3. 1. 4Xbox 360 First Gaming System to reach 10 Million in U. S. Console Sales Xbox LIVE tops 12 million members globally as Xbox 360 console sales hit more than 19 million worldwide. July 15, 2009 Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system has sold over 10 million units in the U. S. , making it the first current-generation gaming console to break the 10 million mark in the U. S. The U. S. install base contributes to global sales of over 19 million.

“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U. S. and abroad,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry. ”

This announcement comes on the heels of one of the biggest entertainment launches in history, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” on April 29, 2008. Gamers eager to experience “Grand Theft Auto IV” online helped boost Xbox LIVE global membership to over 12 million this month.

Fueled by an unparalleled combination of access to friends and family, the best online gaming features, and the best entertainment content, the Xbox LIVE service has doubled in membership in only one year’s time. “Reaching an installed base of 10 million consoles in the U. S. is a significant achievement and an essential milestone on the road to market leadership,” said Billy Pidgeon, research manager at IDC.

“Perhaps more important is the Xbox 360 worldwide online base — 12 million Xbox LIVE gamers is the largest community in the connected console games sector, which represents the greatest growth opportunity in the console market and where Microsoft has been the leader for two generations. ” Xbox 360 leads with the industry’s highest software attach rate, more than any other console this generation, and is home to the best-selling games.

With the launch of “Grand Theft Auto IV” in April, Xbox 360 is now the home to more than 16 platinum titles that have sold through 1 million units or more, including hits such as “Halo 3,” “Madden NFL 07” and “Madden NFL 08,” “Gears of War,” “Guitar Hero II” and “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock,” and “Call of Duty 2,” Call of Duty 3″ and “Call of Duty.

4: Modern Warfare,” giving Xbox 360 two times more platinum-selling titles than the Wii and a 16:2 lead over the PlayStation 3 in game titles topping one million in sales. Games not only sell better on the Xbox 360, they play better, too: Xbox 360 has 91 titles with a Metacritic review score of 80 or higher, compared with just 22 titles for Wii and 50 titles for PlayStation 3. SOURCE: Microsoft 3. 1. 5Nintendo Wii Fit Makes Fitness Fun pat

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