Summer Heats Up on Xbox Live With Sizzling New Features and Hot Blockbuster Titles
London, 10 June, 2004 — Since Xbox LiveTM launched nearly two years ago, the service has brought together nearly one million members in five regions and 24 countries to communicate over the world's first truly global online console gaming service. When Xbox Live reaches one million members, it will have reached the same number of people—in one third the amount of time—as AOL, Netflix and TiVo.
This summer is going to be a scorcher with the addition of two new features and highly anticipated hits from distinguished third party publishers. With this unrivalled line-up, we plan to deliver on our promise of taking the online gaming experience to an unprecedented level.
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live is driving the market forward with new and innovative offerings, such as the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade, which will provide fun, engaging digital entertainment to gamers of all levels and interests.
Xbox Live Arcade, coming this fall, is a new casual game experience that will bring an added social dimension to the online console environment. A virtual destination within Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade will enable Xbox Live subscribers to try out different types of games, download them and then play them with their friends and family around the world. Xbox Live members will find puzzle games, card & board games, social sports, pub games, and classic action/arcade favourites such as "Galaxian," "Dig Dug," "Poker," "Bejeweled" and "Feeding Frenzy." These games are tailor-made for a quick five minute fix or endless hours of intense fun.
Xbox Live Alerts
When Xbox Live subscribers sign up for Xbox Live Alerts, they will be notified when their friends sign on to Xbox Live and when they get a friend request or game invite. Xbox Live will even let them know when new downloads are available and when hot new games are released.
It's not surprising why subscribers have flocked to the service. Xbox Live supports one Gamertag and voice chat, and Xbox Live Alerts across all Live-enabled titles. This unified service offers a number of innovative features to enrich gamers' online experience:
Voice Chat. Using the Xbox Communicator headset that comes with every Xbox Live Starter Kit, friends can talk, laugh, strategise and taunt in all Xbox Live games, or in the Xbox Live Now lobby. They can even leave Voice Messages as attachments to game and friend invites.
Gamertag. On Xbox Live, players have a single persistent identity across the entire service, making it easy to build and grow their online reputation.
Friends List. Using their unique Gamertags, players can find their friends online and invite them to a game, no matter which Xbox Live game they're playing.
Live Web: Live stats and friends lists are available to view through a new Xbox site that links to the service – something only available on Xbox Live.
Live Aware: More games allow players to be "logged on" while playing, even if playing single player so they can receive invites, and keep up with what their friends are doing.
At the E3 press briefing on the 10th May, 2004, we announced an exciting partnership with Electronic Arts (EA) that will bring many of EA's award-winning, critically acclaimed major franchises to Xbox Live.
In addition, more than 20 titles are expected to hit Xbox Live in the next few months that will incorporate all of the great features listed above:
# "Full Spectrum Warrior" (June 2004)
# "Driver 3" (June '04)
# "Rainbow Six Black Arrow" (August 2004)
# "Mortal Kombat: Deception" (October 2004)
# "FIFA Football 2005" (October 2004)
# "Star Wars Battlefront" (21st September, 2004)
# "Burnout 3 (September 2004)
# "Outrun 2" ( October 2004)
# "Unreal Championship 2" (Christmas 2004)
# "Halo 2" (9th November, 2004)
# "Need for SpeedTM Underground 2" (November 2004)
# "Forza" (December 2004)
# "Call of Duty" (Q4 2004)
# "Doom 3" (When it's done!)
# "MechAssault 2" (January 2005)
With more than 150 Live-enabled games planned for availability by the end of the calendar year, there is no question why Xbox Live has the undisputed best online games available on the market. Xbox Live is the evolving, dynamic gaming service that continues to bring people together to share experiences, from social gameplay to healthy competition.
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About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Windows PC gaming, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises
as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Halo," "Project Gotham RacingTM" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "OutSmartTM."
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first comprehensive, online game service fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Xbox Live allows gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers everywhere via a broadband Internet connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console was built from the ground up to be an online gaming system so there's no need to buy additional peripherals.
Xbox Live enables all gamers to find and play with their friends easily; talk to other players during game play through the Xbox Communicator headset; and download current statistics, new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive.
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tagline, "it's good to play together," captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in Europe for an estimated street price of €199.99/£129.99.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.