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Microsoft Creates Local Xbox for Taiwan Players


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Upbeat about Taiwan's gaming console market, Microsoft yesterday launched its latest Xbox machine and "high-intensity" killer games that company officials said would appeal to casual and hardcore gamers. Deviating from its beefy black box-look, the new Xbox game console featured a translucent casing. The summer package, priced at NT$5,980, also included two controllers according to Taiwan News.

"We are very focused on the social aspects of gaming," Grace Chou, manager of Microsoft's Home Entertainment Division, told the Taiwan News.

"It's vacation season once again, and this means more members of the family will be grabbing the controller to play our high-energy games. So instead of just providing our customers with one controller, we decided to give them two."

Aware that there would be no Xbox without killer games, the software giant also launched eight new titles namely Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, Sudeki, Doom 3, Phantom Dust, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, X-Men Legends, and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

Microsoft also said its latest action-packed Xbox game - Project Gotham 2 - would be Live-enabled this summer. Xbox LIVE was an online gaming service that allowed avid gamers to sign up for a service. By plugging into their home broadband connection, gamers could find their friends online, match up with players of all skill levels, and quickly jump into their favorite games with friends and foes around the world, they added.

Chou said her team was confident they would make a killing at the tills this summer. "We think it's going to be a hit because this marks the first time that we have released a summer package this early," she said. "Our timing is also impeccable since we're also introducing games inspired by this season's biggest movie releases: Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2."

In Taiwan, Microsoft was aggressively waging a console war, Chou said. "Everyone knows that the PS2 has been in Taiwan for over 10 years now, but we are still working hard at educating TV gamers," she said. "The Xbox is the game console to beat in terms of videogaming. It has a hard drive, 3D features, and a built-in networking feature. We are also bringing more exciting games to the Xbox market."

In terms of Taiwan's videogaming trends, Microsoft projected that PC games would only see marginal growth while online gaming would likely shrink this year, said Chou.

"But (console gaming) is a growing market in Taiwan," she said. Pricing would always be an issue since a great majority of console gamers were young and therefore, price-conscious, Chou said. Avid gamers also loved Live-enabled games, she continued. "We are addressing both issues by keeping our pricing competitive and rolling out the hottest games," said the official.

The localized console had an internal configuration different from the original Xbox to thwart hackers from running illegal games on the console. The box could also be "locked down" so parents could prevent their kids from accessing inappropriate content.

Taiwan - with its game cafe industry - was a plum market for Xbox, the executive said. Gamers usually visited PC cafes because they wanted to spend time with their friends, but they could now do that without leaving the home with console gaming.


Source: IGN.com
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