Microsoft Outlines Plans for Changing the Game to Kick Off Electronic Entertainment Exposition
Xbox Flexes Its Leadership Muscle in Games, Software and Alliances; Microsoft and Electronic Arts Team Up for Xbox Live Agreement
LOS ANGELES, May 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To a packed house of video game leaders two days before the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - News) boldly showcased its plans to lead the industry in games, online services, software and alliances. Flanked by legendary sports stars, including Muhammad Ali, St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk and Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony, Microsoft Chief Xbox? Officer Robbie Bach and Electronic Arts Inc. President of Worldwide Studios Don Mattrick brought down the renowned Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles by announcing Electronic Arts' commitment to bringing its critically acclaimed games to the Microsoft? Xbox Live(TM) online gaming service starting this summer.
"EA has always been a great publisher for Xbox," Bach said. "We're strengthening our alliance by bringing EA's world-class games to Xbox Live, the undisputed leader in online console gaming."
Through this long-term agreement, many of EA's major franchises will be coming to Xbox Live, with more than 15 titles expected in the coming months including "Madden NFL(TM) 2005," NBA LIVE 2005," "FIFA Soccer 2005," and "Need for Speed(TM) Underground 2," as well as "Burnout(TM) 3," "TimeSplitters Future Perfect(TM)" and the popular online franchise, "Battlefield." The news is welcomed by nearly 1 million Xbox Live members in 24 countries pining to play EA franchises online.
Blockbuster Xbox Games Coming Soon
In addition to the EA announcement, Microsoft showcased breakthrough titles, bringing new levels of personalization, compelling story lines, and graphics superiority only achievable on Xbox. Capping the night, Microsoft demonstrated the continuous innovation and leadership of Xbox Live as the premier online service for console video games now and into the future.
Microsoft revealed that the highly anticipated blockbuster "Halo? 2" will be on store shelves Nov. 9, 2004. "Halo 2" is the sequel to one of the greatest games ever made, "Halo: Combat Evolved," with more than 4 million copies sold worldwide. Although much of the story line of the game remains one of the industry's best-kept secrets, the battle comes to Earth as Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless alien Covenant and the destruction of all humankind. "Halo 2" promises graphics that push the powerful Xbox hardware to its limits and gameplay that showcases breakthrough Xbox Live play.
Proving that its game pipeline is fully loaded, Microsoft also showcased upcoming games that redefine their respective genres through compelling story lines, personalization and jaw-dropping graphics achievable only on Xbox. These games also reflect the boundless imagination of their creators:
* "DOOM 3" (Developed by id Software and distributed by Activision Inc.). A
console exclusive for Xbox, "DOOM 3" draws players into the mos terrifying
and gripping 3-D gaming experience ever created. Built on id's
revolutionary new 3-D graphics engine, "DOOM 3" delivers an epic clash
against pure evil as gamers battle the forces of Hell alone or cooperatively
on Xbox Live.
* "Dead or Alive? Ultimate" (Tecmo Inc.). Tecmo's esteemed development
group, Team Ninja, has created the ultimate "Dead or Alive" fighting
experience, "Dead or Alive Ultimate," by coupling the original version of
"Dead or Alive" with a completely redesigned "Dead or Alive 2" on the Xbox
video game system to create one of the first 3-D online fighting games.
Both games will be Xbox Live multiplayer-compatible, enabling players to
test their fighting skills against a vast community of gamers from around
* "Fable(TM)" (Developed by Big Blue Box Studios and Lionhead Studios for
Microsoft Game Studios). In this groundbreaking role-playing adventure
game, gamers choose the path of righteousness or a life of evil, and watch
themselves transform into a reflection of their actions and decisions.
* "Forza Motorsport(TM)" (Microsoft Game Studios). "Forza Motorsport" is the
first fully customizable racing simulation for Xbox. This groundbreaking
game allows gamers to drive hundreds of the hottest cars in the world from
more than 60 manufacturers at breakneck speeds. For gamers eager to put
their reputation on the line against the best on Xbox Live, "Forza
Motorsport" takes the checkered flag.
* "Jade Empire(TM)" (Developed by BioWare Corp. for Microsoft Game
Studios). From the developer of the acclaimed "Star Wars?: Knights of the
Old Republic(TM)" comes an action role-playing game with an innovative
new fighting engine. More than 30 martial-arts fighting styles have been
incorporated into the game, and only by mastering them and using the right
ones at the right time will players rise to the top in the world of "Jade
* "Xbox Live Arcade(TM)." This fall, the casual games people love to play with
their families will be playable on their television screens with "Xbox Live
Arcade." Games will include puzzle games such as "Bejeweled"; card
games such as poker, hearts and bridge; and classic action and arcade
favorites such as Namco's "Dig Dug" and "Galaxian?." Microsoft is working
with leading companies -- such as Atari Inc., PopCap Games Inc.,
GarageGames and Nolan Bushnell's uWink.com Inc. -- to bring a robust
offering to "Xbox Live Arcade."
Software Powers the Future of Games
Finally, Microsoft tantalized attendees by taking social communication to the next level with XNA(TM), software that will power the future of games. The company announced that "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes," a Windows?-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Sigil Games Online Inc., will employ voice and notification software tools from Xbox Live to the Windows gaming world. "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes," whose development team includes the original producer and co-creator of the wildly successful "EverQuest(TM)," will be integrated with MSN? Messenger in mobile devices, cell phones and more, allowing players to be notified if their friends are online, their castle is under siege or a troll needs to be vanquished.
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 tag line, "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 North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Some information herein relates to prerelease software, which may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software when it is first commercially released. This release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this release or the information contained in it.
NOTE: Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Live, Halo, Forza Motorsport, Xbox Live Arcade, Windows, XNA, Windows and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Need for Speed is a trademark or registered trademark of Electronic Arts Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
NFL, NBA, FIFA, Burnout and TimeSplitters Future Perfect are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Source: Microsoft Corp.