REDMOND, Wash., July 25, 2002 — Microsoft Game Studios today announced the return of Indianapolis Colts All-Pro Quarterback Peyton Manning as quarterback of its exclusive football title for the Xbox (TM) video game system, “NFL Fever 2003.” Joining Manning on the “NFL Fever 2003” roster, award-winning broadcaster Kevin Calabro has been inked by Microsoft Game Studios as the game’s new play-by-play voice. “NFL Fever 2003” is scheduled to be shipped nationwide Aug. 6.
For the second straight year, the former No. 1 NFL Draft pick from the University of Tennessee and the son of former NFL Quarterback Archie Manning will appear on the game’s packaging and merchandising. As the driving force behind Microsoft Corp.’s best-selling football franchise, Manning spent countless hours during the game’s development relaying years of Manning family football wisdom and expertise to “NFL Fever 2003” producers.
“Last year, I was amazed how realistic ‘NFL Fever 2002’ was, but with this year’s improved gameplay, added features and the introduction of online play, Microsoft may have truly outdone itself,” Manning said. “I recently got the chance to play against Matt Hasselbeck online using Xbox Live. I couldn’t believe I was playing a video game and communicating with Matt clear across the country. I can’t wait to start battling the guys on our team both in person and online using Xbox Live.”
Veteran play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro joins Manning in “NFL Fever 2003.” Calabro, whom gamers know from Microsoft’s basketball franchise “NBA Inside Drive” and sports fans know as the voice of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, is making his debut in “NFL Fever 2003.” Joining Calabro in the booth is former NFL defensive back and “NFL Fever” veteran Ron Pitts.
The new broadcast tandem is just one of the many new wrinkles in the latest installment of “Fever.” “NFL Fever 2003” features new online play with Xbox Live, newly added classic NFL teams, the NFL’s new eight-division format, the expansion Houston Texans, the new uniforms for the Seahawks and Bills, and the new stadiums for the Bears, Lions, Seahawks and Patriots. Fans also can look forward to current rosters; hidden stadiums; an expanded post-game highlight reel; improved gameplay and animation; and more ways to customize uniforms, playbooks and plays. To find a complete list of the game’s features, screen shots, videos and audio clips, NFL Fever fans can log onto http://www.nflfever2003.com .
“‘NFL Fever 2002’ set the bar for sports games on Xbox,” said Pat Cook, sports studio manager for Microsoft Game Studios. “With the return of Peyton Manning, the addition of Kevin Calabro and the introduction of Xbox Live, the best-selling football franchise on Xbox just got better.”
About Microsoft Game Studios </>
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide games company with two core businesses: games development and publishing ( http://www.microsoft.com/games ) and Zone.com. Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com ) is the Internet’s largest game site.
Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful game 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 is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.
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.
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