The Countdown for Xbox 360 Begins at X05

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Oct. 4, 2005 — A 19th-century industrial plant in Amsterdam was transformed into a sizzling showcase for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp. on Oct. 4 and 5 as more than 1,000 members of the press and retail representatives gathered to get the definitive lowdown on the Xbox 360 launch for Europe and North America at X05, the Xbox brand experience for the games and entertainment industry.

X05 was the backdrop for several major announcements, proving that Xbox — and partners — are ready to revolutionize gaming and entertainment with their next-generation-defining video games and entertainment system, Xbox 360. The biggest news was game-related, with Xbox taking the opportunity to confirm the fantastic titles that will be coming to the platform before Christmas 2005, as well as revealing some of the more than 200 new titles in development for Xbox 360.

Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for Xbox at Microsoft, reiterated today’s announcement from Universal Studios that triple-Academy Award-winners Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as the executive producers of “Halo,” the upcoming feature film based on Microsoft’s phenomenally popular video game. This unique alliance between Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Microsoft, and Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh promises a step forward in motion picture production. “Halo” will benefit from the experience and resources of the film studios, from Microsoft’s groundbreaking vision and from Jackson’s and Walsh’s creative sensibilities and expertise in both traditional filmmaking and the world of emerging digital technologies.

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Publishing Gerhard Florin took to the stage to announce the Xbox 360 exclusive “FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup” and confirm “Godfather,” “Burnout” and “Battlefield” — along with a new franchise, “Superman” — as coming soon to Xbox 360. Ubisoft Entertainment chose X05 to announce the return of Sam Fisher in “Splinter Cell 4.” In addition, id Software Inc. CEO Todd Hollenshead revealed the seminal “Castle Wolfenstein” for Xbox 360.

“This is the start of a new era in interactive entertainment,” Florin said. “The combined power of Xbox 360 and innovation from EA in graphics, animation and gameplay means consumers will have unprecedented levels of interaction and rich connection with the games they play. EA has more than 20 games in development for Xbox 360 and is delivering quality entertainment in support of the launch with franchises like ‘Need for Speed,’ ‘FIFA,’ ‘NBA Live,’ ‘Tiger Woods’ and ‘Madden NFL.’ Today’s X05 event is a global showcase of great digital entertainment to come.”

The press conference also provided the perfect forum for Xbox Vice President J Allard to demonstrate the seamless integration and enhanced offering of the Xbox Live service with Xbox 360 — and with other electronic devices in the home — heralding the beginning of next-generation online gaming and online entertainment. From playing music files from an iPod to personalizing gameplay by buying car parts from Xbox Live Marketplace in “Project Gotham Racing 3” to features such as Family Settings and Enhanced Matchmaking, Xbox Live is expanding the limits of what is possible.

The Greatest Games

Previous X0 events have been a highlight of the gaming industry calendar, and X05 proved no different. The biggest names in publishing announced exclusive Xbox 360 games as well as new additions to best-selling franchises. The holiday season promises gamers a choice of titles and genres that demonstrates the dazzling power and versatility of the platform, including “Perfect Dark Zero™” and “Kameo™: Elements of Power™” (Rare Ltd.), “Project Gotham Racing 3” (Bizarre Creations Ltd.), and “Dead or Alive 4” (Tecmo Ltd.).

Exclusive Xbox 360 titles announced at X05 include “Crackdown” (MGS-Real Time Worlds), “Too Human” (MGS-Silicon Knights), “Mass Effect” (MGS-BioWare Corp.), and “FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup” (Electronic Arts).

New editions to blockbuster franchises announced for the first time include “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend” (Eidos Interactive Ltd.), “Splinter Cell 4” (Ubisoft Entertainment), “Castle Wolfenstein” (id Software) and “Superman” (Electronic Arts) — all certain to look and play their best on Xbox 360.

“Xbox 360 is the world’s most powerful high-definition video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games and the next generation of Xbox Live,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft Corp. “In addition, as the ultimate digital amplifier in the home, Xbox 360 will enable consumers to connect to digital cameras, portable music players and Windows XP-based PCs to enjoy integrated entertainment experiences that simply can’t be matched.”

About Xbox and Xbox 360

Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video games and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries around the world. This holiday season Microsoft debuts its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in Europe, Japan and North America, to be followed by availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around you.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live continues to transform and unite Xbox game communities worldwide, with a presence in 24 countries worldwide and a global community of more than 2 million members. As the first and only global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live offers world-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.

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