Microsoft Announces Spectacular Windows Vista Title Lineup

LOS ANGELES — May 9, 2006 — Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. and top publishers worldwide unveiled the highly anticipated games lineup for the Microsoft® Windows® and Windows Vista™ operating systems. Microsoft also announced plans to bring the Xbox Live® game and entertainment network to the Windows platform.

Microsoft Game Studios and other leading publishers, including Electronic Arts Inc., NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., THQ Inc. and Funcom, will provide groundbreaking gameplay experiences for Windows Vista gamers across numerous genres, including role-playing games (RPGs), first-person shooter (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS), massively multiplayer online (MMO) and simulation. The showcase lineup for Windows Vista will include the following games:

  • “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom) is an online action-RPG with a mix of a deep, story-driven single-player experience and massive and brutal multiplayer end game, bringing to life the ultimate representation of the “Age of Conan.”

  • “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios) is a psychological action thriller from Remedy Entertainment Ltd. Cited as one of the best titles of E3 2005, “Alan Wake” introduces a deeply engaging and suspenseful story line in a free-roaming open world that invites players to unravel the riveting plot and experience intense combat that combines the use of light with more conventional weapons.

  • “Company of Heroes” (THQ) is a World War II RTS from Relic Entertainment, the creators of game-of-the-year winners “Homeworld” and “Dawn of War,” that brings the cinematic intensity and dynamic battlefields of World War II to life through a truly visceral gaming experience.

  • “Crysis” (EA) is an original FPS based on new intellectual property developed by Crytek, the makers of the award-winning “Far Cry.” In Crysis™, players battle an invading alien force in a number of environments against a backdrop of rising international tension and rivalries.

  • “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios) is the 10th edition of the popular simulator that immerses players in a beautifully rich and realistic world, offering gamers a completely new and innovative experience with dozens of new aircraft, scenario-based missions and spectacular graphics.

  • “Halo
    ®
    2 for Windows Vista” (Microsoft Game Studios), the game that redefined first-person combat and multiplayer action for millions of gamers worldwide, is set to explode onto Windows Vista.

  • “Hellgate: London” (NAMCO BANDAI Games America) is an action-RPG that combines the depth of third-person role-playing games with the action of first-person shooters. Developed by Flagship Studios Inc., which includes the creators of the revolutionary “Diablo” series, the game offers infinite playability through dynamically generated levels, items, enemies and events.

  • “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios) brings the Microsoft vision of “Live Anywhere” to life. “Shadowrun™” from FASA Studio is the first cross-platform game for Xbox 360™ and Windows Vista. It is a multiplayer, FPS that propels team-based combat into a new dimension with a revolutionary blend of modern weaponry and ancient magic. “Shadowrun” will be available when Windows Vista is launched.

Groundbreaking DirectX 10 Graphics Unveiled

In addition to highlighting showcase titles at E3, Microsoft previewed the incredible graphic capabilities of the company’s latest games-programming technology: DirectX® 10. The release of DirectX 10 heralds an astonishing leap in graphic fidelity over today’s hardware, enabling the most realistic and immersive games yet. With up to six times the performance of earlier versions of DirectX and support for massively more complex and intense environments, DirectX 10 will debut exclusively on Windows Vista. In addition to broad publisher support, DirectX 10 is backed by leading graphics hardware companies including ATI Technologies Inc. and NVIDIA Corp.

Windows Vista Key to Live Anywhere Vision

Under Microsoft’s Live Anywhere vision, announced by Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on stage today, the power of the Xbox Live games and entertainment network will storm onto the Windows platform. This vision will first arrive on Windows Vista this winter with the release of “Shadowrun.” Published by Microsoft Game Studios, “Shadowrun” will be shipped simultaneously on Windows Vista and Xbox 360, enabling cross-platform gameplay and continuing to bridge the gap between consoles and computers.

The new online network will provide Windows Vista and Xbox 360 gamers with a consistent experience, with one gamertag, one set of achievements, one friends list and voice communications between all Xbox Live members. Bringing the Live Anywhere vision to Windows means that millions of gamers worldwide can access all the best elements of Xbox Live whether they’re playing on an Xbox 360 system, a Windows-based PC or their mobile phone.

“We’re incredibly excited to combine the best online innovations from Xbox Live with the platform innovations for which Windows is known,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Windows gamers have a lot to look forward to: Xbox Live experiences, revolutionary DirectX 10 technologies in Windows Vista and some of the best games in the world — all on Windows.”

Support for Games for Windows

In addition to delivering next-generation games for Windows Vista, industry leaders continue to deliver great games on today’s Windows platform. Microsoft Game Studios and third-party publishing partners are previewing a broad range of games for Windows on the show floor at E3:

  • “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom)

  • “Age of Empires® III: The WarChiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios)

  • “Battlefield 2142” (EA)

  • “Call of Juarez™” (Ubisoft)

  • “Company of Heroes®” (THQ)

  • “Crysis” (EA)

  • “Desperate Housewives The Game” (Buena Vista Games)

  • “F.E.A.R.™ Extraction Point” (Vivendi)

  • “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios)

  • “Hellgate™: London” (NAMCO BANDAI Games America)

  • “Heroes of Might & Magic® V” (Ubisoft)

  • “Neverwinter Nights™ 2” (Atari Inc.)

  • “Rise of Nations®: Rise of Legends™” (Microsoft Game Studios)

  • “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios)

  • “SiN Episodes™: Emergence” (Ritual Entertainment)

  • “The Ship” (Outerlight Ltd.)

  • “Titan Quest™” (THQ)

  • “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” (Sigil Games Online Inc.)

New Games for Windows Brand Identity

Microsoft unveiled a new Games for Windows brand identity that will help consumers identify high-quality titles for the Windows platform. Moore reiterated Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Windows as a first-class gaming platform and a key consumer scenario for Windows. Evidence of this commitment to gaming on Windows can be found in the new Games Explorer in Windows Vista, the worldwide Games for Windows marketing campaign, and a strong retail initiative to promote the Games for Windows platform.

“First-class platforms deserve first-class treatment, and we’re investing in Games for Windows like never before,” said Moore. “We’ll make certain consumers can easily discover and enjoy the exciting lineup of Windows titles, today and in the future.”

Cross-Platform Wireless Accessories

Microsoft is expanding its wireless line of Xbox 360 cross-platform game peripherals to the Windows platform with the introduction of the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. Gamers will be able to use the Universal Serial Bus (USB) wireless receiver with Windows XP- or Windows Vista-based computers to enjoy racing games, sports games and other titles that work best with the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Headset and Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel. Today’s announcements follow the release of the company’s first cross-platform controller: the wired Xbox 360 Controller for Windows that shipped in fall 2005.

About Games for Windows

Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world for games, delivering the widest range of titles, the most gaming hardware choices, and advanced gaming technology for players of all types. With Windows as the cornerstone, the Games for Windows platform offers publishers and gamers the most enjoyable and innovative gaming experiences available on a PC. More information can be found online at http://www.gamesforwindows.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista, Xbox Live, Halo, FASA Studio, Xbox 360, DirectX, Age of Empires, Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.