REDMOND, Wash. — April 8, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled its all-star lineup of award-winning publishers committed to making the leap into the HD Era on Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox® platform.
The future Xbox will deliver on the company’s vision of the HD Era — an era fueled by consumer demand for experiences that are always connected, always personalized and always high-definition — through the amazing clarity of high-definition graphics, extraordinary benefits of constant connectedness and exceptional personalization abilities. To help make this a reality, Microsoft has assembled some of the most powerful publishers to drive the industry into the high-definition gaming revolution. Together, these publishers have sold more than half a billion copies of current-generation Xbox console video games worldwide and represent approximately 70 percent of all current-generation console games sold in 2004.*
“The key to bringing the vision for the HD Era of gaming to life is our partners: world-class publishers and developers that have molded and shaped the history of interactive entertainment for tens of millions of gamers worldwide,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Xbox global content and marketing at Microsoft. “This stellar lineup of publishers and developers is poised to deliver games experiences our customers only dreamed were possible, and is ultimately committed to elevating video games to be the No. 1 form of entertainment.”
Publishing heavyweights such as 2KGames, Activision Inc., Atari Inc., Bandai Co. Ltd., Bethesda Softworks LLC, Buena Vista Games Inc., Capcom Co. Ltd., Codemasters Software Company Ltd., Eidos Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., FromSoftware Inc., InterServ International, KOEI Co. Ltd., Konami Corp., LucasArts, Majesco Entertainment, Midway Games Inc., Namco Ltd., Phantagram Co. Ltd., Rockstar Games, SCi Games Ltd., SEGA, Tecmo Ltd., THQ Inc., TWP Corp., Ubisoft Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games Inc. and Webzen Inc. have committed their support for Microsoft’s innovative vision for the future of high-definition gaming.
These premier publishers join Microsoft Game Studios, whose stable of game developers will bring exclusive content to the next-generation Xbox platform. These developers include BioWare Corp., Bizarre Creations Ltd., Bungie Studios, Epic Games Inc., FASA Studio, Lionhead Studios Ltd., Rare Ltd., as well as newcomers Yoshiki Okamoto’s Game Republic Inc., Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Mistwalker and Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Q Entertainment Inc.
The next-generation Xbox titles will provide exhilarating entertainment experiences that will drive the HD Era. Gamers can expect technological advancements such as multichannel audio fidelity that will plunge them into a world so realistic, even the faintest enemy footsteps can be heard. These advancements will be fueled by richer online communication and by an abundance of on-demand content delivered by the Microsoft® Xbox Live (TM) service.
In addition, Microsoft is fully committed to this generation, and gamers can expect an amazing pipeline of titles into 2007. This year alone, Xbox publishers and developers will deliver more than 200 games to the platform. Since its launch, Xbox has sold 20 million consoles worldwide, and is expected to sell millions more.
This unified show of commitment from the leaders of the publishing industry underlines their belief in the Xbox vision of how hardware, software and services can be fused to power next-generation gaming and entertainment experiences.
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 (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* Source: NPD Funworld, Nielsen, GFK, Chartrak and Enterbrain
Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Industry Partners Support Next-Generation Xbox
“Moving into the next generation of console hardware, Microsoft is dedicated to creating cutting-edge technology that enables us to develop more immersive and graphically stunning games. Gamers everywhere benefit as Microsoft’s state-of-the-art tools allow us to turn our ideas into unparalleled gaming experiences.”
Greg Thomas, President, Visual Concepts, developers of 2K Games’ critically acclaimed 2K5 Sports series
“The next-generation Xbox video game system platform gives us unprecedented personalization abilities that allow gamers to completely customize their gaming experiences like never before. We share Microsoft’s vision for the HD Era and look forward to providing consumers with unparalleled game and entertainment experiences.”
Kathy Vrabeck, President, Activision Publishing
“The online interface and customization offered by the next-generation Xbox is a leap forward in how consumers interact with games. Atari hopes to maximize the advantages of Microsoft’s new platform and provide our consumers with the type of immersive entertainment experiences that are synonymous with the Atari name.”
Jim Caparro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atari Inc.
“Bandai is proud to be one of the publishers planning for the next-generation Xbox. Our unique and exciting games will be a great addition to the next-generation Xbox product line.”
Naruo Uchida, Vice President, Bandai
“For many gamers, having a personalized experience always has been a driving force behind playing a role-playing game. With the next-generation Xbox, we can create even more original, immersive and engaging worlds for players to explore.”
Pete Hines, Vice President of PR and Marketing, Bethesda Softworks
“Our production organization is gearing up to bring a wide range of products to the next-generation Xbox platform. The incredible capabilities of this system, along with the continued evolution and expansion of the Xbox Live community are exciting for us and for our audience.”
Michael Ryder, Vice President of Worldwide Production, Buena Vista Games
“Today, it is my great pleasure to announce Capcom’s support for Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console. It is my firm belief that by utilizing this new hardware we will be able to further our longtime goal of creating the perfect blend of unique gaming experiences with revolutionary, cutting-edge technology.”
Kenzo Tsujimoto, President and CEO, Capcom
“We’ve always loved creating games for Xbox and working with Microsoft; we share a great passion for developing excellent, superbly playable games. Everyone at Codemasters is excited to be part of Microsoft’s vision and take the gaming experience to a new generation of Xbox.”
David Darling, Chairman, Codemasters
“Eidos is fully committed to developing for the next-generation Xbox system, taking our console products into the next generation. The incredible performance of this new architecture enables our developers to utterly demolish the barriers presented by the current platforms, delivering entirely new experiences to our players.”
John Spinale, Vice President, North American Development, Eidos Inc.
“EA studio teams are already deep in development on games that will debut with Microsoft’s new console. We’re particularly focused on making use of the high-definition and online capabilities — two elements we think will define the game experience on the next generation of technology. Microsoft is a great partner, and its new console is going to be a blast for both developers and consumers.”
Don Mattrick, President, Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios
“We strongly believe that the next-generation Xbox will completely change ideas and images of entertainment, and we are very honored and pleased to join this great project.”
Naotoshi Zin, President, FromSoftware Inc.
“We have great expectations for the next-generation Xbox. We are looking forward to making full use of the next-generation Xbox’s capabilities to provide game fans all over the world with a completely revolutionary form of entertainment.”
Toru Ogawa, Managing Executive Officer, General Manager, Software Division, KOEI Co. Ltd.
“Konami has always provided high-quality, top-selling games that push the boundaries of innovation and technology. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox video game system platform will help us continue to deliver great games, providing a wealth of new entertainment opportunities to our customers.”
Kazumi Kitaue, Executive Corporate Officer, America and Europe, Konami Corp.
“The next generation of Xbox promises to introduce an incredibly powerful new platform that will allow developers and publishers to create games with unprecedented levels of realism, connectivity and customization. Majesco supports Microsoft’s vision for the future of interactive gaming, and we’re excited to partner with it in bringing innovative new content to the next generation of Xbox gamers.”
Jesse Sutton, President, Majesco Entertainment
“We have amassed an unparalleled lineup of first-party developers recognized worldwide as creative innovators and trendsetters. We all are committed to providing groundbreaking advancements exclusively for the next generation of Xbox. Our collective goal is to deliver experiences that will fundamentally change the way people think about, play and experience interactive entertainment.”
Shane Kim, General Manager, Microsoft Game Studios
“Great next-generation games will be defined by how far they push the envelope in terms of graphical prowess, evolved artificial intelligence and revolutionary online functionality beyond what gamers are currently experiencing. We look forward to working with Microsoft on the next-generation Xbox to produce groundbreaking content that will change the face of entertainment.”
David F. Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Midway
“Namco is pleased to be a leading publisher supporting Microsoft’s next-generation vision. We are confident that Microsoft’s next console will be an impressive piece of hardware that will push technological limits, provide consumers with a memorable gaming experience and showcase our software to its fullest potential.”
Nobuhiro Kasahara, President and Chief Executive Officer, Namco Hometek Inc.
“Simply the next-generation Xbox is a revolutionary machine that exceeds anybody’s expectation. Just like how sensational Xbox was to the gaming industry when it was first introduced, I strongly believe this next generation will allow developers to explore unlimited possibilities and create games they only dreamed of. Fully leveraging all high-end technology the Xbox features, Phantagram is also planning to deliver dazzlingly stylish games never seen and experienced before.”
Sangyoun Lee, CEO, Phantagram, Ltd.
“Working with the next-generation Xbox technology is a great opportunity. Our development teams are very excited by the possibilities and challenges that come with the advancement of new hardware. The new technology will hopefully allow us to continue pushing the envelope of people’s expectations, while continuing to explore the core ethos and style that is at the heart of Rockstar’s sensibility.”
Sam Houser, President, Rockstar Games
“The next Xbox will be accessible to a wider market, so SEGA is prepared to deliver a range of great game content that will satisfy all market demographics, from our stable of popular franchises like ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ to new and exciting properties that will change the way people interact with games. Microsoft has created powerful development tools, so SEGA developers can create incredibly rich, cinematic environments that are more realistic than ever before. Add to this a philosophy of software, hardware and services integration, and you have a successful formula that we expect will set a new benchmark for quality.”
Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA
“We are working with the most advanced gaming technology in the world in order to create the ultimate gaming experience while continuing to be the industry leader in online gaming on Microsoft’s next-generation platform.”
John Inada, Tecmo Ltd.
“As a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, we are committed to delivering only the best possible experiences for our customers. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox video game system gives us the platform upon which we can build and deliver digital entertainment experiences our customers have only dreamed of.”
Jack Sorensen, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Studios, THQ
“Ubisoft is committed to delivering great games to audiences around the world. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox video game system platform will provide us with even more entertainment opportunities to produce and publish innovative, entertaining games with the ability to interact with their gaming community in ways like never before.”
Jay Cohen, Vice President , Publishing, Ubisoft
“Microsoft’s state-of-the-art technologies in next-generation platforms will provide gamers with a whole new and exciting gaming experience. The power of next-gen platforms in high-definition will exceed the expectations of gamers, putting them in the game with a more realistic experience. VU Games is very excited and committed to integrating the benefits of the next-generation Xbox into future titles.”
Cindy Cook, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Vivendi Universal Games
“As a developer that specializes in online gaming, we chose the next-generation Xbox platform because of its stable service and online capabilities. Through this platform we have hopes to meet the high expectations and develop a high-quality game to give consumers the highest level of enjoyment.”
Nam Ju Kim, President / CEO, Webzen Inc.