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Xbox Live sign-ups beat forecasts

Microsoft announced Tuesday that it signed up more than 250,000 subscribers for the online gaming service for its Xbox console, double initial sales expectations for the new service. Xbox Live, a subscription service that lets Xbox gamers compete against one another via a high-speed Internet connection, launched Nov. 15 in a high-profile bid by Microsoft to corner an emerging part of the game market.

Analysts have said Microsoft will be lucky to attract a million subscribers to Xbox Live within the service's first year. Microsoft's most optimistic projections call for 10 million subscribers by the time a new version of the Xbox is ready in 2005.