During a keynote speech to mark the start of the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bill Gates has announced that Microsoft's Xbox console is to get full Media Centre functionality.

The "Xbox Media Centre Extender Kit" will include a dedicated remote control, along with software which "extends the Windows XP Media Centre Edition experience", allowing music, recorded television and photos from users PC's to to be viewed via the Xbox games console.

Gates also confirmed that the Xbox console is on track to meet its shipment forecast of 14.5 to 16.0 million worldwide by June 2004, after a successful pre-Christmas sales run which also saw Xbox Live achieving more than 1 million game sessions per day over a five-day period.

Further details of the extender kit, along with other announcements regarding Xbox and integration of Xbox Live Alerts with Spot Watches are expected to be confirmed during CES, and we'll bring you more as we get it.

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