NEWS - Monday, June 14, 2010

The biggest games are found only on Xbox 360

A band of heroes facing insurmountable odds. An epic adventure of choice and sacrifice on the journey to rule. Tens of millions of faithful fans worldwide. Look out Hollywood, Xbox 360 is delivering the entertainment blockbusters of 2010.

On the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. unveiled a breathtaking lineup of games, proving once again that Xbox 360 is the best place to play. "Fable III," "Gears of War 3" and "Halo: Reach" took center stage as the biggest exclusive games, and Microsoft unveiled its newest exclusive blockbuster, code-named "Kingdoms," from legendary developer Crytek GmbH. Delighting audiences even further, all "Call of Duty" add-on content will launch first on Xbox 360 through 2012, starting with content associated with the Nov. 9 release of "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

"With a portfolio of exclusives including ‘Alan Wake,’ ‘Mass Effect 2,’ ‘Splinter Cell Conviction’ and the record-breaking ‘Halo: Reach’ multiplayer beta, it’s already been an incredible year for Xbox, but we’re not slowing down," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. "In the next year, we’ll continue to redefine this generation of blockbuster entertainment with the controller-free experiences of Kinect and new chapters to three of the most acclaimed sagas found only on Xbox 360: ‘Fable III,’ ‘Gears of War 3’ and the biggest game of 2010, ‘Halo: Reach.’"

The Most Exclusive Entertainment
Twenty-five million passionate and engaged Xbox LIVE members have spoken, and Xbox 360 is this generation’s console of choice. As the top destination for millions of gamers, friends and family members to experience a world of entertainment together, it’s no surprise that the best developers are rewarding members with the year’s greatest exclusives, Game Add-ons and experiences.

A telltale sign of the meteoric year to come, fans around the world joined Xbox 360 and Bungie in making history with record-breaking participation in the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta. An astounding 2.7 million fans worldwide rushed to enlist and be the first to experience the year’s biggest game, establishing the "Halo: Reach" beta as the single most downloaded console video game beta test in history.

The release of the "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package" in March also shattered Xbox LIVE records, as more than one million gamers worldwide downloaded the new map pack from Infinity Ward in the first 24 hours alone, surpassing the two million mark in fewer than four days. With last week’s release of the "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Pack," soaring past one million downloads, it’s easy to see why Xbox LIVE is the largest "Call of Duty" community of any entertainment system.

With games for the hero, adventurer and storyteller within us all, Xbox 360 is bringing larger-than-life experiences into living rooms like never before, including the following:

* "Halo: Reach" (Bungie, Microsoft Game Studios). Millions of fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the release of "Halo: Reach," the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time. The action follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers and their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. The most ambitious "Halo" game yet, "Halo: Reach" launches worldwide on Sept. 14 and in Japan on Sept. 15, and promises to be the biggest game of 2010.

• "Gears of War 3" (Epic Games, Microsoft Game Studios). "Gears of War 3" concludes the epic trilogy starring Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad. In the finale, the last human city has fallen, leaving the survivors scattered and without refuge. Exposed on all sides, Delta Squad finds itself in a ruthless battle between two horrific enemies. "Gears of War 3" continues to break ground with new multiplayer experiences on Xbox LIVE for veteran players and rookies alike, adding four-player cooperative campaign and the new Beast mode.* "Gears of War 3" launches in North America and Asia on April 5, 2011, in Japan on April 7, and in Europe and the rest of the world on April 8.

* "Fable III" (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Game Studios). Launching worldwide beginning Oct. 26, "Fable III" delivers an unparalleled action and adventure experience as players journey from revolutionary to ruler and beyond. With your trusted canine companion, you will embark on an epic hero’s quest against injustice, forge alliances, crush your enemies and take control of your kingdom. But with great power comes great responsibility. Will you honor promises made in your rise to power, or sacrifice allegiance for personal gain? Choose wisely, as the decisions you make will forever impact your ever-evolving world.

* "Metal Gear Solid: Rising" (Konami). "Metal Gear Solid: Rising" is the highly anticipated debut of Hideo Kojima’s critically acclaimed "Metal Gear Solid" franchise on Xbox 360. "Metal Gear Solid: Rising" will star Raiden, one of the most popular characters in the "Metal Gear Solid" universe, in a new, lightning bolt action-adventure on Xbox 360.

* "Call of Duty: Black Ops" (Activision). On Nov. 9, 2010, Treyarch will make its return to the "Call of Duty" franchise with the release of "Call of Duty: Black Ops" on Xbox 360, the seventh entry in the best-selling first-person action franchise. "Call of Duty: Black Ops" continues the gripping experience and unprecedented level of action with players taking on multiple covert international conflicts in an epic single-player campaign, as well as co-op and multiplayer modes on Xbox LIVE,* which boasts the largest "Call of Duty" community in the world. All "Call of Duty" Add-on content will be released first on Xbox 360 through 2012, starting with content associated with the Nov. 9 for "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

* "Dead Rising 2: CASE ZERO" (Blue Castle Games, Capcom). Before "Dead Rising 2" launches in August and September, "Dead Rising 2: CASE ZERO" will release as an exclusive prologue only available through Xbox LIVE, providing unique features that bridge the story between the 2006 action-adventure hit and its sequel. Get the complete "Dead Rising 2" experience only on Xbox 360.

* "Crackdown 2" (Ruffian Games, Microsoft Game Studios). "Crackdown 2," the sequel to the sleeper hit of 2007, is the ultimate open-world experience featuring over-the-top action, a massive living world, stylish graphics, and unmatched cooperative and multiplayer online capabilities.* An explosive tour de force that invites players to explore, experiment and navigate through objectives with complete freedom to do what they want, when they want. "Crackdown 2" releases in the Americas on July 6; Asia, Australia and New Zealand on July 8; and Europe on July 9. The public Xbox LIVE demo will be available globally starting June 21.

Summer Blockbusters on Xbox LIVE Arcade
Xbox LIVE Arcade offers the highest quality downloadable games with a broad library of more than 250 titles and free trial downloads. Kicking off in July, Xbox LIVE Summer of Arcade is back for a third year with the biggest and best smash hits of the season. Xbox LIVE members will enjoy five weeks of scorching blockbuster games with something for everyone, including these games:

• "Castlevania: Harmony of Despair" (Konami Digital Entertainment). Dracula takes a bite out of Xbox LIVE Arcade with "Castlevania: Harmony of Despair." This fast-paced 2-D side scroller takes vampire hunters on a chase to bring Dracula, the Lord of Darkness, to his eternal slumber. Designed by the producer of the legendary "Castlevania" series, Koji Igarashi, "Castlevania: Harmony of Despair" allows friends to play together via online co-op story mode or duke it out to see who the best vampire hunter is in Survival Mode.*

* "Hydro Thunder Hurricane" (Vector Unit, Microsoft Game Studios). "Hydro Thunder Hurricane" is the all-new, full-featured sequel to the legendary arcade racer. Featuring rocket-powered speedboats blasting across amazing dynamic water, gorgeous visuals and interactive environments packed with shortcuts and surprises, this is the adrenaline-drenched sequel fans have been waiting for. Dive into intense multiplayer races with up to eight players on Xbox LIVE, up to four players locally, or even mix local and online games.*

* "Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light" (Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Europe). "Tomb Raider" heroine Lara Croft makes her headlining debut in this co-op, multiplayer action and adventure game. "Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light" combines the hallmarks of the classic "Tomb Raider" franchise including exploration, discovery and puzzle solving with fun and fast-paced combat to create a game that is a great balance of cooperation and competition. Choose your own solutions and explore various paths through the dense jungles of Central America as you solve puzzles to win the game.

* "Limbo" (Playdead, Microsoft Game Studios). Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enters "Limbo." This summer, experience his journey - through a world media are calling hauntingly beautiful and philosophically provocative - in this Independent Games Festival award-winning title.

* "Monday Night Combat" (Microsoft). "Monday Night Combat" takes you into the most popular lethal sport of the future. This third person shooter blends intense combat, finishing moves and game show-like challenges to give you an action experience unlike any other. Rather than fighting for honor or duty, "Monday Night Combat" lets you fight for the real American dream - cash, fame and endorsements.




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