Microsoft Takes Aim at Game Players

LOS ANGELES, May 16, 1996 — At the Electronic Entertainment Expo today, Microsoft Corp. unleashed an arsenal of 11 new game titles for PCs running the Microsoft® Windows®
95 operating system. Deadly Tide, Monster Truck Madness, Hellbender, NBA
Full Court Press
and Close Combat are among the new games Microsoft is showcasing at E3. The announcement of Microsoft’s innovative offerings in the action and arcade, simulations, sports and strategy games categories propels Microsoft into the upper echelon of games publishers targeting the broad PC gaming audience.

Microsoft is already the industry’s sixth-largest PC game publisher. Its Microsoft Flight Simulator is the world’s most popular PC entertainment title, with more than 1.5 million copies sold.

The company is teaming with renowned outside game developers – such as Terminal Reality Inc., Atomic Games and Rainbow Studios Inc. – to create most of its new games. Microsoft games will also take advantage of the innovative DirectX
APIs in Windows 95 – such as the DirectPlay
API for multiplayer games across a LAN or the Internet and the Direct3D
API to provide gamers with state-of-the-art graphics and game play.

“Make no mistake, Microsoft isn’t playing around when it comes to games,”
said Ed Fries, general manager of the games group at Microsoft.
“We’re hard-core about our commitment to games, and we back that commitment with time, resources and strategic relationships with the best talent in the industry.”

The new games demonstrated in Microsoft’s South Hall booth 7111 include action and arcade titles Deadly Tide, Hellbender, GEX
and The Condemned; simulations Monster Truck Madness and Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95, the newest version of the best-selling flight simulation for the PC; sports titles NBA Full Court Press, Microsoft Soccer and Microsoft Golf 3.0; and strategy titles Close Combat and Age of Empires. All titles are designed for Windows 95.

Action and Arcade Titles Immerse, Challenge and Thrill Gamers

Deadly Tide is a high-speed, cinematic underwater action shooter in which players move from mysterious sunken ships to alien mining operations to battles on the open sea as they attempt to save humanity from the enemy. Deadly Tide’s realistic 3-D graphics were created by the Hollywood designers responsible for the eye-popping effects on the
“Star Trek: The Next Generation”
television series. With its CD-quality musical score and integrated story line, Deadly Tide will fascinate new and experienced gamers alike.

Gamers will be captivated by the pulse-pounding action and the need for lightning-fast reflexes. As hydrofighter pilots, gamers destroy aquatic-based aliens as they venture into numerous underwater passageways, adding to the game’s replay value and truly challenging gamers.

Hellbender is an intense action shooter that offers hard-core gamers an integrated science fiction story line. Hellbender features tremendous depth of play and replay value, including strategic elements, secret worlds, hidden objects, numerous weapons and a variety of adversaries. The game also features some of the latest technological advances for the PC, including full support for multiplayer competition with DirectPlay; Direct3D graphics; and full support for the SideWinder
3D Pro joystick. The engaging story line was written by acclaimed science fiction film writer Geof Miller (of
“DeepStar VI”
fame), and voiceover is provided by Gillian Anderson, star of
“The X-Files.”

Gamers can take a turn away from terror toward twisted comedy with GEX, a side-scrolling action game with strong, diverse game play and a zany story line. The game’s protagonist, a wisecracking gecko named Gex, has the insane humor and voice of popular comedian Dana Gould. GEX, developed by Crystal Dynamics, engages players in a demented story line based on classic TV shows and
movies and moves with smooth 3-D animation and a startling CD-quality soundtrack. GEX received an Editor’s Choice Gold Award from Electronic Gaming Monthly and earned the Video Game Character of the Year award from DieHard GameFan magazine.

For a change of pace, gamers can participate in the highest-rated game show and sporting event in the futuristic mech-style title The Condemned. The story line focuses on prison inmates locked in intense battles for their freedom in front of a national television audience. The Condemned, which was developed by Gray Matter, immerses gamers in wicked, hard-core action along with an alluring story line, using full-motion video and powerful CD-quality sound.

Simulations Extend the Longest Air Trip, and Deliver Radical Monster Truck Racing

The world’s most popular flight simulator joins the world of Windows in Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95, the newest version of the most realistic flight simulation available for the PC. Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95 will appeal to both experienced fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator and to aspiring
“virtual pilots”
who want to experience the thrill and challenge of flying on their PC. New users will appreciate the ease of use enabled by the AutoInstall feature in Windows 95, the friendlier interface, and online help. In addition, Interactive Flying Lessons make it easier to learn to fly so users can get in the air in no time – it’s like having a co-pilot in the cockpit.

For current users, Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95 offers more challenges and adventures than any previous version. New features include two new planes, the Aerobatic Plane Extra 300 and Boeing 737, multimedia demonstrations of complex maneuvers by three-time U.S. National Aerobatics Champion Patty Wagstaff, more structured game-play options, more cities and airports, and digitized sounds of the actual planes. The heightened realism includes more detailed graphic scenery from around the world.

Microsoft moves the simulation experience from air to ground by delivering Monster Truck Madness, the world’s only PC monster-truck-racing game. Monster Truck Madness is the most radical and outrageous racing simulation because it seats players behind the world’s most powerful vehicles as they crush, splatter, jump and roll their way to victory. The title features a radically fun and realistic racing experience that begins with highly detailed renderings of world-famous monster trucks, including BigFoot® , Snake Bite® and Gravedigger®
. The trucks behave just like their namesakes, both on the ground and when they take to the air, and provide true-to-life, bone-jarring movements. The gunning motors and cries of twisted metal are the real things, too – recorded and digitized from actual monster truck races. Narrating the drive to victory is the voice of Armey Armstrong, beloved by millions of monster-truck-racing fans everywhere.

In addition to the standalone, modem-to-modem, Internet and LAN playing options, players can also connect to Microsoft’s Monster Truck Web Stop on the World Wide Web. There, they’ll find up-to-the-minute tips and tricks, information on monster trucks, and race results.

Work Up a Sweat With Adrenaline-Pumping Sports Titles

NBA Full Court Press will thrill fans seeking to play official NBA-style action on their PCs with a captivating, competitive experience. For example, gamers can elevate the excitement by competing against other PC hoopsters in real time via modem or network, allowing any combination of two to four players to control a team in full, five-on-five basketball play.

Gamers can also compete in single games, play an entire season schedule, organize tournament play or work on their games in practice mode. Intense, unpredictable competition is enhanced by an artificial-intelligence (AI) engine that draws on more than 100 actual NBA plays.

NBA Full Court Press also delivers on the striking degree of realism demanded by sports gamers. It offers dazzling, true-to-life, high-resolution graphics and amazingly lifelike player action and movements, including more than 250 motion-captured player animation sequences. Chanting crowds are recorded and digitized to give gamers the home-court advantage.

In addition, all 29 NBA teams and rosters are represented in NBA Full Court Press. Every dunk, rejection and rebound is provided by the emphatic play-by-play commentary of Kevin Calabro, the voice of the Seattle SuperSonics.

Sports fans experience the fun and competition of an internationally acclaimed sport with Microsoft Soccer. Artificial-intelligence and multiplayer capabilities let gamers experience the thrilling competition of the sport. Windows 95 makes setup simple, and game players can kick off immediately at the sound of the whistle. Motion capture provides smooth player movements, and the entire experience is enhanced by realistic sounds and chants, stadiums and conditions.

Microsoft Golf 3.0 is the latest version of the classic, award-winning sports game and leading golf simulator for Windows. Golfers can play the courses with photorealistic graphics, fly-bys and tips from the course professionals on each hole. New features include instant hole rendering, so there is no delay between shots, the ability to play against the computer, and 3-D sounds. Players can also compete in several ways, including stroke, skins, match play and best ball. Several add-on championship courses allow golfers to play at some of the sport’s most challenging courses, including Pinehurst®
and Banff Springs, without having to make an early tee time or pay costly greens fees.

Microsoft Golf 3.0 golfers can easily connect using a modem or network to play and socialize in twosomes, threesomes and foursomes. Golfers can challenge friends to a round, get a lesson, or provide
commentary on a match. Players can also chat with other players, join a match in progress or voice their opinions from the grandstand.

Strategy Titles Let Players Re-Create World War II, Guide Human Evolution

In Close Combat, players find themselves at Normandy on D-Day in a World War II-era PC strategy game that features unprecedented battlefield realism. Close Combat offers soldiers who have specific personalities that respond to their wartime experiences, nonstop, real-time battlefield action with the explosive sights and sounds of an actual conflict, and historical accuracy that reflects the recorded maneuvers of the U.S. 29th and German 352nd infantries during the battles between France’s Normandy and Saint-L

Close Combat uses an advanced AI model to replicate human behavior. The model, developed with the help of a combat psychologist, challenges players to show leadership and motivate their troops. A multiplayer combat mode allows Close Combat desktop commanders to play head to head with other players using a network or modem. Early previews of Close Combat have been extremely favorable. Close Combat was created by Atomic Games.

Strategy games don’t get any grander than Age of Empires, an epic game spanning tens of thousands of years, in which the player is the guiding spirit in the evolution of a small Ice Age tribe. Starting with virtually nothing, the player is challenged to build the tribe to the brink of a great civilization. Players can conquer or cooperate with existing tribes in a multiplayer environment. They can choose to battle on land or sea, or they can establish peaceful relations and trade resources. Players also get to see the real-time results of their resource management decisions. They can assign tribe members to hunt, explore, conquer or build, and they can apply technology to advance the state of buildings, weapons, tools and ships. Game play continues based on the player’s decisions and parameters. Age of Empires is developed by Ensemble, with renowned strategy game designer Bruce Shelley.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows DirectX, DirectPlay, Direct3D and SideWinder are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The NBA and individual NBA member team identification used on or in this product are trademarks, copyrighted designs, and other forms of intellectual property of NBA Properties Inc. and the respective member teams, and may not be used, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of NBA Properties Inc. All rights reserved.

GEX is a trademark of Crystal Dynamics.

BigFoot, Snake Bite and Gravedigger are registered trademarks of BigFoot 4×4 Inc.

Pinehurst is a registered trademark of Resorts of Pinehurst Inc.

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