home > news > cool site > OrigenXbox360.com - Another MS Viral Marketing Site
GamesFirst! Online since 1995

View Image Gallery

OrigenXbox360.com - Another MS Viral Marketing Site
cool site
posted by: Shawn Rider
publisher: Microsoft?
developer: Microsoft?
view related website
date posted: 09:58 AM Wed Aug 24th, 2005
last revision: 10:03 AM Wed Aug 24th, 2005

Click to read.In a move that feels very much like OurColony.net and ILoveBees.com, it looks like Microsoft has registered another domain to serve as a viral marketing campaign. OrigenXbox360.com is an enigmatic website which features a running countdown in the background and a mysterious image of a tree and rabbit.

The countdown on the page seems to point to Noon Eastern Standard time, September 27, 2005. Speculation has it that this may be the official launch date for Xbox 360, but that would put the launch over a month ahead of previously implied dates. Earlier this month, a leak from Wal-Mart employees suggested the Xbox 360 launch would be on November 4, 2005, and, as Xbox site TeamXbox points out, even that date seems suspicious due to the fact that it doesn\'t correspond with the original Xbox launch, and Microsoft has so far shown a fondness for marking anniversaries with momentous releases (Xbox Live came out on the anniversary of the Xbox release, and Halo 2 was similarly timed).

As any good ex-retail employee, the first thing I look at in a release date is the day of week. November 4 is a Friday, and the rule of thumb in retail says you never launch a product on Fridays, which makes that date very suspicious. Most retail media releases happen on Tuesdays, which makes the September 27 date even more interesting because the 27th will be a Tuesday. However, Microsoft did break with this pattern on the original Xbox release, which happened on a Thursday, and it is not unheard of for major releases to happen on a different day of the week.

Or the OrigenXbox360.com site could be referring to something else entirely -- maybe the day that MS will announce the official release date? Microsoft has a long history of using alt-reality games to promote products. The Beast, widely regarded as the first alt-reality game, was created by Microsoft to promote Steven Spielberg\'s movie AI, and ILoveBees.com was created to promote Halo 2. More recently OurColony.net had gamers scrambling for early glimpses of new Xbox 360 hardware.

We checked out Jane McGonigal\'s website (www.avantgame.com) because she was the puppet master for ILoveBees.com, but, as we suspected, she\'s not saying anything. Of course, that\'s how these things are supposed to work. In fact, it could be argued that OrigenXbox360.com is not even an official Microsoft site. But WHOIS records indicate that it was registered by Microsoft and uses Microsoft name servers (the same servers as Xbox.com), which adds fuel to the speculation.

The enigmatic site is sure to keep gamers guessing for the next 34 days. We\'ll post more when more is known.

Click images for larger version

Click for larger.