Microsoft Ignites Xbox Game Development Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash., July 31, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has shipped its first Xbox software developer kits (XDKs) to game designers worldwide, enabling them to create great games for the future-generation Xbox video game system that is scheduled to ship in fall 2001. The company estimates that by the end of this summer, more than 1,000 XDKs will be deployed to more than 100 companies developing Microsoft-approved Xbox games.

“Microsoft is committed to working with the best game developers and publishers to ensure a highly successful Xbox launch next fall,”
said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Games Division.

Reaching this major milestone more than 15 months before availability gives developers the resources and information they need to create rich Xbox launch titles.

The XDK is a high-performance, easy-to-use development platform that allows developers to focus on the art of game design without wrestling with the technology. Like Xbox, the XDK is based on familiar Intel and NVIDIA chip design and Microsoft’s popular DirectX® 8 API development tools, which enable movie-quality rendering, superior audio and action-packed game play.

The three-phase, XDK program begins with an upgradeable PC-based development system available today and culminates with customized console units delivered to developers in early 2001. Throughout the Xbox development process, designers will receive instant access to updated software and tools as they mature.

Today’s PC-based XDK system is designed to provide developers with maximum freedom to create. It includes early graphics hardware, a large hard drive, a beta version of DirectX 8, technical documentation, and off-the shelf game pads that simulate Xbox functionality.

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