updated 02:35 am EDT, Wed July 11, 2007
MS debuts Halo 3 Xbox 360
In addition to showcasing more than a dozen new gaming titles, Microsoft on Tuesday evening announced yet another special edition of its Xbox 360 gaming console as well as HD movie content from major movies studios for its internet-based Xbox Live marketplace; however, users were disappointed as there was no announcement of the much-anticipated Xbox price cut (to counter Sony's move earlier in the week). At its E3 keynote, the company announced the new Halo 3 Special Edition Console--which expected to ship this September without the Halo 3 game title bundled--as well as an expansion of its Xbox Live Marketplace to include standard and high-definition content and movies for rent--from Disney and its movie studios, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, and Hollywood Pictures. Microsoft also demoed some very popular gaming titles, including two that are available now: Sonic the Hedgehog Classic and Golden Axe.
Although the named after the extremely popular gaming title, Microsoft said that the Halo Special edition Xbox 360 does not include Halo 3, them much anticipatee sequel expected to ship during the month: the console features "an authentic Spartan green and gold finish" and comes with matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, 20GB Hard Drive, Headset, Play & Charge Kit, and exclusive Halo 3 Gamer Pics and Theme (via Xbox LIVE download). Pricing for the "Halo" Xbox 360 was not announced; however, the company did say that the Halo 3 game title will ship separately on September 25th, while its Xbox 360 Messenger Kit will be available on September 6th and its new pink and dark blue Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers will be available in October.
Xbox Live growing, platform dominates competition
During its keynote, the company claimed a Xbox 360 user base of 5.6 million and an Xbox Live subscriber base of more 7 million, making it the largest community connected to the TV. The Redmond-based computer giant also expects to have 10 million Xbox Live subscribers by the same time next year.
Microsoft noted that its Xbox 360 is outselling Sony's PlayStation 3 by almost two-fold and that an impressive that two-thirds of all third party next-generation games are for the Xbox 360. Since the launch of the Nintendo Wii and PS3, consumers in the US have spent more on the XBox platform than both the Wii and PS3 combined, company representatives said during the presentation.