NEWS - Thursday, May 17, 2001

Launch Details For Xbox

The other day Microsoft released another press release this one is dealing with the details of the Xbox launch. Those details include, price, availability and Xbox games for the Holiday season of 2001.

Microsoft Corp. announced the North American launch details of its highly anticipated Microsoft® Xbox(TM) video game system and demonstrated its unmatched commitment to delivering the best video game experiences. Starting Nov. 8, 2001, Xbox consoles will be available for purchase at retail outlets throughout North America for an estimated retail price of $299* (U.S.). Microsoft made it clear, through demonstrations of its new and exclusive games for Xbox -- such as "Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee’’ and "Halo’’ from Microsoft, "Dead or Alive 3’’ from Tecmo, "NASCAR Heat’’ from INFOGRAMES Inc., and "Mad Dash’’ from Eidos Interactive -- that Xbox games will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

"On Nov. 8, Xbox will hit the market and redefine how people think about and play video games,’’ said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "Xbox is going to change video games the way MTV changed music. Your games are never going to be the same.’’

Microsoft detailed its North American launch plans at a press conference in advance of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2001, one of the world’s largest annual games industry trade shows.

Even More Game Developer Support for Xbox Announced

During the press conference, Microsoft also announced strengthened relationships with powerhouse console game studios Capcom Co. Ltd. and Sega Entertainment Inc., further cementing Microsoft’s support from the world’s best game developers and ensuring delivery of only the best video games for Xbox.

Capcom confirmed that it will develop three games for Xbox, including two Xbox exclusives: "Dino Crisis 3’’(tentative title), the latest in the famed "Dino Crisis’’ series produced by Shinji Mikami, and "BRAIN-BOX’’ (code name and tentative title), an original robot simulation game also produced by Mikami. In addition, the popular game "Onimusha’’ will be optimized for Xbox and produced by Keiji Inafune.

Sega announced that it is creating Xbox versions of its best-selling Sega Sports(TM) 2K2 games, as well as Crazy Taxi(TM) Next and House of the Dead(TM) 3. The games will ship in the Xbox 2001 launch window in North America. Sega also committed to design its Sega Sports 2K3 lineup for the Xbox broadband online game service, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2002. Sega’s commitment ensures that its future games will take advantage of the broadband Ethernet connection and hard disk built into every Xbox.

"Having Capcom and Sega on board reinforces the incredible quality and selection of games that Xbox will deliver this fall,’’ Bach said. "The creative artists at these studios will not only deliver great Xbox games, but they will help us establish the benchmark for great gaming experiences to come.’’

Worldwide Game Studios Sign on to Create Xbox Online Games

Microsoft also announced that 27 top games companies are propelling video games to new heights by utilizing the high-quality, high-speed broadband capabilities** built into every Xbox video game system. In addition to Sega, Acclaim Entertainment Inc., Activision Inc., Artdink Corp., Atlus Company Ltd., Bandai Company Ltd., Capcom, Codemasters, Crave Entertainment Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Eidos, FOX Interactive Inc., Gathering of Developers, INFOGRAMES Inc., Interplay Entertainment Corp., Konami Company Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., Midway Games Inc., Namco Ltd., Rage Software, Rockstar Games, Sierra On-Line Inc., Taito Corp., Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, TDK Systems, THQ and Ubisoft are the industry-leading publishers committed to supporting the Xbox online experience.

Sega Sports’ entire 2K3 lineup (including "NFL 2K3’’ and "NBA 2K3’’), "Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3,’’ "Unreal Championship’’ and "Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon’’ are among the games with online capabilities that will debut in the first half of 2002.

"Online console gaming over broadband will change the face of video games forever,’’ Bach said. "When the Xbox online experience goes live in the first half 2002, our development partners will have games ready that will demonstrate how broadband online video games will have as dramatic an impact on the industry for the current generation of games as the move from 2-D to 3-D graphics did for the previous generation.’’

Xbox Allies With Warner Bros. and Universal Interactive Services

Today Microsoft also announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Warner Bros. and a signed alliance with Universal Interactive Services Inc. to create Xbox games. Microsoft and Warner Bros. will develop and publish Xbox games based on Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated movie, "A.I.,’’ that will hit movie theaters June 29. Microsoft will publish three action-packed adventure "A.I.’’ games, considered interactive sequels to the movie, two of which are slated for release this fall in conjunction with the console’s launch in North America.

Microsoft and Universal Interactive Services will develop an Xbox game featuring the highly coveted Bruce Lee license. "Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon,’’ developed by Ronin Entertainment, will also be published exclusively on Xbox. "Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon’’ is a cinematic, fast-paced action game that allows gamers to play as the legendary martial arts master in his latest feature film.


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