Xbox to Be Unleashed at 48-Hour Video Game Marathon in New York and Los Angeles

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 23, 2001 — On Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 in New York and Los Angeles, the Xbox team from Microsoft Corp. will present Xbox Unleashed, a 48-hour continuous gameplay marathon pitting gamers against one another in intense head-to-head competition. In addition to providing gamers with the chance to get their hands on the Xbox video game system and Xbox games before the system is available at retail, Xbox Unleashed will allow gamers to compete in full public view and show the world what serious gameplay is all about.

The 48-hour marathon will test participants’ skills on many of the exhilarating and diverse Xbox games that will be available at launch, including
“Amped™ : Freestyle Snowboarding,” “Fuzion Frenzy™ ,” “Halo™ ”
and
“Project Gotham Racing™ ”
from Microsoft Game Studios;
“DOA3™ ”
from Tecmo;
“Cel Damage”
from Electronic Arts;
“NASCAR® Heat 2002”
from Infogrames; and
“Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater™ 2x” from Activision® . Cumulative scores for each competitor will be tracked, and at the end of the marathon the gamer with the most points in each location will be crowned the Ultimate Xbox Gamer.

The winners will walk away with bragging rights and one of three prize packages. The grand prize is a customized Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Pioneer Audio/Video systems and an integrated Xbox system. Second place is an Xbox console and Xbox games, as well as a spring break trip for four to San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico, sponsored by Official Xbox Magazine. Third place is an Xbox console and Xbox games, food for a year from Taco Bell® and beverages for a year from SoBe. Taco Bell will be on site at the marathon offering samples of its new chicken quesadilla, and SoBe will be serving beverages for the duration of the video game marathon at both the New York and Los Angeles venues.

Gamers who want to experience Xbox and the games at their own pace can choose the noncompetitive, free play area, which will also include prize giveaways and entertainment. In addition to the titles featured in the competitive area, gamers in the free play area will have access to
“Madden NFL™ 2002”
and
“NASCAR Thunder™ 2002”
from Electronic Arts;
“Mad Dash Racing”
from Eidos;
“NHL® Hitz™ 20-02”
from Midway;
“Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee™ ”
and
“NFL™ Fever 2002”
from Microsoft Game Studios;
“TransWorld Surf™ ” from Infogrames; and Shrek™
from TDK Mediactive. DJs from 92.3 K-ROCK in New York and 106.7 KROQ in Los Angeles will broadcast live from the event.

“Xbox Unleashed will capture the true spirit of what it means to be a gamer: fierce competition, loads of intensity and lack of sleep,”
said John O’Rourke, director of Xbox Sales and Marketing at Microsoft.
“We’re very excited to bring gamers together for 48 hours to unleash the Xbox difference and preview some of the most highly anticipated games of all time before they are available at retail.”

Head of the Line Contest

Before the marathon, gamers across the country will have the opportunity to win* a place at the
“head of the line”
and be among the first round of gamers to kick off the competition at Xbox Unleashed. From now until Oct. 24, Xbox.com will host an online contest at http://www.xbox.com/unleashed/ . Gamers who correctly answer a series of trivia questions will be entered into a drawing from which two lucky winners will win travel and accommodations courtesy of Xbox.com to attend Xbox Unleashed (one to New York City and one to Los Angeles to be determined by Xbox).

Marathon Details

Xbox Unleashed will start in each location at 12:01 a.m. local standard time on Friday, Nov. 2, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. Event locations are as follows:

New York Metronome
915 Broadway (at 21st Street)
New York, NY 10010

Los Angeles Universal City Walk
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

Unleashed Promotional Partners

In addition to the third-party game developers, key partners for Xbox Unleashed include Ford, K-ROCK in New York, KROQ in Los Angeles, Official Xbox Magazine, SoBe, Stratton Ski Resort, Taco Bell and Virgin Records. Additional contributors include Ballantine Publishing, Brighton Ski Resort, DC Shoes, Dragon Optical, Forum Snowboards, Guiellmot, A.L.S. Industries, Initial Records, Lobster Records, Mad Catz, M3 Snowboards, Radica, Revelation Records, Skunk.com and Volcom Snowboarding.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Xbox will be available in North America on Nov. 15, 2001, at the estimated retail price of $299.99. More information on Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* No purchase necessary. Open to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older. Game ends Oct. 24, 2001. For full rules, see http://www.xbox.com/unleashed/ .

Microsoft, Xbox, Amped, Fuzion Frenzy, Halo and Project Gotham Racing 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.

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