Microsoft have announced in their pre-E3 press conference, that they are committing $2bn, in an attempt to fuel the future of the Xbox platform.

"Xbox is driving the future of interactive entertainment ... the real fun starts now." said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft.

Over 200 new games will be made available for the Xbox, including around 50 which will be compatible with the Xbox Live network, by the end of 2003.

US gamers will get to help beta test the system from next week, but European gamers will have to wait until the official launch, which is expected to take place in September, and retail at $49.95 for the beta period, with European pricing to be announced nearer the proper launch date.

The Xbox Exclusive online titles which will be available by the end of 2002 are: Unreal Championship, MechAssault, Whacked!, NFL Fever 2003, and Midtown Madness.

Additionally Allard announced several games which are currently under development for the Xbox Live network, including Star Wars Galaxies and Counterstrike, along with online versions of Halo, RalliSport Challenge, Amped and Project Gotham Racing.

Microsoft have dedicated Wednesday May 22nd to bringing details of Xbox Live, and Thursday May 23rd the details of the 200 games which Xbox is due to get during the next year - we'll bring full details of everything that matters, as soon as we hear more.

Related article: Xbox Live network to launch in the Autumn