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Still at Battle in the Console Wars

January 10, 2002|Alex Pham

Microsoft Corp. sold 1.5 million Xbox video game consoles last year, according to Robbie Bach, head of the company's games division.

Bach, who made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, said the company is manufacturing more than 100,000 boxes a week.

Sony Corp., which began selling its PlayStation 2 console in October 2000, sold about 6.6 million consoles last year, including nearly 2 million in December, according to company officials.

Meanwhile, Nintendo Co., which launched its GameCube console three days after the Nov. 15 Xbox debut, sold 1.2 million units in North America last year. Nintendo also sold 5 million GameBoy Advance hand-held units in North America last year.

In response to news reports that have raised questions about faulty Xboxes, Bach said "less than 1%" sold have been returned for repairs. Of those, more than 90% were fixed and returned to their owners within 48 hours, Bach said.

It's not the only first-generation machine to experience kinks.

The first batch of original PlayStation consoles, for example, tended to overheat, forcing some owners to set up fans or refrigerate the units.

Bach said there are no known systemic problems with Xbox.

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Alex Pham

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