NEWS - Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Xbox 360 Welcomes New Worlds Of Entertainment

Barcelona, Spain—On the shores of one of the world’s most artistic and progressive cities, Microsoft Corp. today thrilled attendees at its annual X06 event by inviting everyone to experience the next generation now on the Xbox 360™ system. The announcements and hands-on gameplay experiences highlight how the world’s greatest game creators are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in high definition and online storytelling. Highlights of the announcements included the following: A landmark partnership between Academy Award-winning writer, director, and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The first will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the Halo® universe. The second will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios will partner with Jackson and Walsh to establish Wingnut Interactive, a studio dedicated to the creation of world-class interactive entertainment. Halo Wars is an all-new real-time strategy game based on the legendary Halo universe and designed exclusively for Xbox 360 by Ensemble Studios, creators of the Age of Empires® franchise. Rockstar and Take-Two will provide Xbox 360 gamers with exclusive access to two epic downloadable episodes of Grand Theft Auto IV via Xbox Live, each with hours of new gameplay content, and available only on Xbox 360 just months after the release of the title. Ubisoft confirmed that the next Splinter Cell title, the installment after Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Double Agent™, will be exclusive to Xbox 360, a testament to the ability of the powerful next-gen game console to deliver experiences no other console can match. 2K Games confirmed that BioShock , a first person shooter that will revolutionize the genre and forever change the expectations of gamers, will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 and Microsoft®Windows® next spring. Project Gotham Racing® 4 was unveiled, the latest addition to the best-selling franchise, made exclusively for Xbox 360 by Bizarre Creations. PGR4 promises to continue the series’ pedigree of innovation by introducing exciting new experiences to racing fans worldwide. The beloved Banjo-Kazooie® franchise will breathe new, high-definition life exclusively on Xbox 360, from famed developer Rare Ltd. Beloved characters Banjo, Kazooie and Gruntilda—among other fan favorites—will new next-gen visuals and presentation as well as their sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor. Marvel Universe Online, the highly-anticipated new MMO game from Microsoft Game Studios for both Xbox 360 and the Windows Vista™ operating system was announced. MUO was developed by industry luminaries Cryptic Studios, creators of the smash hits City of Heroes and City of Villains. The FPS that pioneered the network-gaming era, DOOM®, from acclaimed developer id Software and Activision, is available now on Xbox Live Marketplace. The game includes the original four-episode single-player game, four-player split screen action, both co-op and deathmatch, and four player co-op and deathmatch via Xbox Live. Coming soon to Xbox Live Arcade is Sensible World of Soccer from Codemasters. Based on a classic Amiga title from 1994, Sensible World of Soccer will let gamers choose between the original graphics or an updated, high-resolution look and feel—while still capturing the original game’s wide world of football. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, arriving at retailers in North America, the U.K., France, and Germany in mid-November 2006, will retail for $199.99 in North America (ESRP) and €199.99/£129.99 (ESRP) in the U.K., France, and Germany. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player comes with both the Universal Pictures blockbuster Peter Jackson’s King Kong on HD DVD (for a limited time) and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote. "Xbox 360 is changing the way developers are telling stories today—from the industry’s most beloved franchises to exciting new properties," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "We are inspiring the imaginations of the entertainment industry’s best and most creative talent to take their franchises in exciting directions, while also spinning new tales for everyone." "We are incredibly pleased to be here in Barcelona to talk about the next chapter of Xbox® and how Xbox 360 continues to deliver on the promise and potential of the next generation," said Chris Lewis, regional vice president of the Home and Entertainment Division, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), at Microsoft. "As we prepare to launch some of our biggest global titles and best regional content, both right now and well into the future, consumers will have much to choose from with a system designed for high-definition and online entertainment. We are the only next-generation experience that seamlessly connects players to their games, friends, and entertainment content."


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