NEWS - Tuesday, November 7, 2000


MS Embraces Independents

In a press release today Microsoft issued the announce of the Details of the Xbox Independent Developer Program and the Xbox Incubator Program, both of which were announced and demonstrated at the Australian Game Developer Conference. Read on for the full press release.

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - news) is demonstrating expanded support of the global video game development community through two unprecedented programs for the Xbox(TM) game system, the company’s future-generation video game console scheduled for release in the fall of 2001. Details of the Xbox Independent Developer Program and the Xbox Incubator Program, both of which will enable game designers to create prototypes of Xbox games, were announced at the Australian Game Developer Conference on Nov. 5.

"Changes in the video game industry and the rising cost of production have made it more difficult for independent developers to access major publishers and their distribution channels," said Kevin Bachus, director of third-party relations at Microsoft. "History has proven that great games can come from anywhere, and we want to establish an environment in which gifted game designers, regardless of their resources, have the opportunity to realize their creative visions through Xbox."

Game developers or potential game developers worldwide can participate in the Xbox Independent Developer Program by applying to receive the Xbox Prototype Kit (XPK). Available free of charge, the XPK offers software and detailed information designed to help creative individuals and game development companies create prototype Xbox games using familiar programming tools on standard PCs. Developers can use these prototypes to secure distribution deals with licensed Xbox publishers.

The Xbox Incubator Program is available to video game developers who want to commit resources to developing an Xbox game using an official Xbox Development Kit (XDK) before securing relationships with major publishers. Only games created with the XDK and distributed by licensed publishers will be available as commercial products.

To participate in the Xbox Incubator Program, independent developers must submit complete written descriptions of their game concepts for evaluation by Microsoft’s Xbox team. If invited to join the program, developers must license an XDK that contains the hardware, software and tools necessary to build Xbox games. As official XDK licensees, these developers also will have full access to Microsoft’s technical support programs. Developers will take part in the Xbox Incubator Program for six months, during which time they should be able to create a prototype of their game concept and secure publishing and distribution deals with licensed Xbox game publishers.

Bachus added, "Xbox is all about great games, and we want Xbox gamers to have access to the best in the world."

More information about the Xbox Independent Developer Program and Xbox Incubator Program may be obtained by sending e-mail to xbox@xbox.com.

About Xbox

Scheduled for release in fall 2001, Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game console designed to deliver superior graphics; better audio; and the most intense, action-packed gaming experiences available. All this is possible because Xbox has at least three times the graphics performance of the newest generation of game consoles. Xbox features will include a 733Mhz CPU, a custom-designed graphics processing unit capable of processing more than 1 trillion operations per second, an 8GB hard disk, 64 MB of total memory, a 3-D audio processor with 256 audio channels and 64 3-D audio channels, and broadband connectivity for online game play. Xbox will use familiar architecture and the Microsoft® DirectX® API so game developers will be able to create better games, faster.


Source: http://www.xboxaddict.com/

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