Press release: 1994-11-08: XBAND Video Game Network on-line Nov. 17 with multimillion-dollar marketing campaign; Nov. 25 coast-to-coast event with Electronic Arts/EA SPORTS

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English third-party
Original source: The Free Library

CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 8, 1994--Catapult Entertainment's XBAND Video Game Network will go on-line Nov. 17 coinciding with the retail availability of the XBAND Video Game Modem for Sega GENESIS (TM).

The XBAND Video Game Network and Modem will be available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta and will be backed by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign.

XBAND is the only multiplayer video game modem and network that allows 16-bit cartridge game players to play their favorite video games against other opponents in real time over a telephone line.

At launch, the XBAND Video Game Modem will be available for Sega GENESIS only and the XBAND Network will support Mortal Kombat (R), Mortal Kombat (R) II, NBA (R) Jam, Madden NFL (R) '95, NHL (R) '94, and NHL (R) '95. New games, such as NFL '95 (R) by Sega Sports and many others will be added to the network on a regular basis.

XBAND will be rolled out to the rest of the country in early 1995, with Super Nintendo compatibility scheduled for the first quarter.

"We have had approximately 1,000 testers on-line since September and have been very pleased by their early response to XBAND," said Adam Grosser, president and CEO of Catapult Entertainment Inc. "Retailers are also very supportive of our efforts as they see XBAND as a way to extend the life of the 16-bit platform."

The XBAND Video Game Modem, distributed by video game publisher T-HQ Inc. has a suggested retail price of $69.95 and subscriptions to the XBAND network will be $7.95 a month for base service. The XBAND Video Game Modem will be sold by major retailers such as Babbage's, Electronics Boutique, KayBee Toys, Kmart, Software Etc., Target, Toys R' Us and WalMart.

"Players have long waited for the ability to play against their friends and skilled opponents -- XBAND gives them that chance," said Jeff Griffiths, vice president, Electronics Boutique. "We expect XBAND to be one of the hits of the holiday season."

Sega of America's Executive Vice President and COO Paul Rioux said, "Video game fans are enthusiastic about any idea that offers an exciting new way to enjoy their favorite games. XBAND meets players' demands for competition and adds a whole new dimension to interactive game play."

Advertising Campaign

Catapult is kicking off a six-week television advertising campaign on Thursday, Nov. 17. The theme of the campaign is "Now You're Playing for Real." Michaels and Company of San Francisco handled the creative.

The television spots will air on the MTV, Fox and NBC television network shows, "NFL Football," "The Simpsons," "Married With Children" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," among others.

Radio spots will run in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Dallas as well. A print advertising campaign is running in major video game magazines from October through December.


Catapult Entertainment has teamed up with EA SPORTS in a coast-to-coast event in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 25, the biggest shopping day of the year.

The event will pit Dean Cain, who plays Clark Kent/Superman on ABC's "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," against Bobby Houston and Marcus Turner of the New York Jets, coast-to-coast on XBAND to play Madden NFL '95 in real-time. The event will be co-sponsored by local radio stations KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and KISS-FM in New York.

"The essence of Madden NFL '95 is head-to-head competition. Now with XBAND, Madden football enthusiasts can play virtually any time, anywhere around the country," said Don Transeth, vice president, marketing, EA SPORTS.

More About XBAND

When players connect to the XBAND Network, they receive game-playing tips, personal statistics, ranking information and updates on other players and competitions organized through the network. The network matches players to an available competitor of equal skill level or a competitor of their choosing.

Players are identified by a unique icon and "handle" to protect their privacy and anonymity.

Players have the ability to send and receive messages through the network's XMAIL system and XBAND's on-line newspaper, Bandwidth, provides players with the latest updates on the video game scene, as well as entertainment and sports news.

Parents can set controls on the number of hours and times of day their children are able to play on the network, as well as any long-distance calling restrictions. These controls can be updated at any time by a parent. All access connections to the XBAND Network are local calls unless long-distance game playing has been specified by a player and/or parent.

Catapult Entertainment

Catapult Entertainment, with headquarters in Cupertino, was formed to establish premier products and services to support networked real-time interactive entertainment by senior executives from Sony Pictures Entertainment, General Magic, T-HQ and Apple Computer. -0- NOTE: Catapult and XBAND are trademarks of Catapult Entertainment; EA SPORTS is a trademark of Electronic Arts; Sega, GENESIS and Sega Sports are trademarks of Sega Enterprises; Nintendo and Super Nintendo are registered trademarks of Nintendo of America; Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II are registered trademarks of Midway Manufacturing Co.; NBA is a registered trademark of NBA Properties Inc.; NFL is a registered trademark of the National Football League; and NHL is a registered trademark of the National Hockey League.

CONTACT: Catapult Entertainment Inc., Cupertino

 Tiffany Fuller, 408/366-1735
 KillerApp Communications
 Allison Thomas/Katie Cotton, 818/509-3700
 Rachel McCallister/Elizabeth Moore, 213/939-5991

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