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New Xbox preview will be via TV

Associated Press

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. will offer video game fans a first peek at the new version of its Xbox game console during a half-hour MTV broadcast, part of a marketing deal between the two companies.

The software maker will preview the new game system in worldwide broadcasts airing Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13, on various MTV channels.

During the broadcast, Microsoft also plans to show off new enhancements planned for its Xbox Live online video game service, which matches players throughout the world.

The half-hour program comes days ahead of a major games conference, E3, during which Microsoft said it will provide industry insiders more details of the game system.

But Peter Moore, a corporate vice president in charge of Xbox marketing, said Microsoft felt it was important that fans got to see the system “at at least the same time — if not before — folks who work in the trades see it.”

Moore refused to provide financial details of the agreement with MTV, a unit of New York-based Viacom Inc. But he said MTV and Microsoft had been working on the marketing deal for about a year. For the program to appeal to its young audience, he added, it “can’t feel like an infomercial or simply an ad buy.”

The deal will extend far beyond just the half-hour program. In addition to MTV promoting Xbox, he said Xbox may promote MTV in game play and elsewhere.

Microsoft has not yet said when it plans to release the new Xbox.

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