Gamers Can Grip It and Rip It as “Links 2003” Hits Store Shelves

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 19, 2002 — Although the weather is cooling, golfers still can swing like the pros as Microsoft Game Studios begins shipping
“Links® 2003″
to retailers across the country today. PGA superstar Sergio Garcia returns to headline an all-star lineup of well-known professional golfers featured in
“Links 2003.”

“Links 2003,”
Garcia and Annika Sorenstam are joined by professional golfers David Toms and the always-fashionable Jesper Parnevik. New to
“Links 2003”
is a Real-Time Swing feature that allows a player’s mouse to become a club. Players pull back their mouse and the 3-D character goes into its backswing, then they lightly push the mouse forward and the character swings to strike the ball and begin the drive. The game’s highly advanced ball physics factor in speed, tempo, direction and course conditions in real time, giving golfers more control over every shot. PC golfers can still indulge their choice of swing method, including the
feel of
click-swinging and the sweeping motion of PowerStroke.

To offer gamers a more realistic golf simulation, this newest version of the best-selling* golf simulator software features improved graphics, six all-new championship courses, several high-resolution 3-D characters, a new career mode and an expanded online component.

“‘Links 2003’ is so authentic, it can help you mentally improve your golf game because it presents you with so many real-life golf situations,”
Garcia said.
“It is a terrific tool, and one that I recommend to golfers to learn course management and better understand the game of golf.”

To celebrate the launch of
“Links 2003,”
Microsoft Corp. will host the finals of the Million Dollar
Virtual Golf Association Tour (VGA Tour) Oct. 28 in Atlanta, with Garcia acting as the celebrity caddie. For the third straight year, the top cybergolfers in the world will compete for the title
“World’s Best PC Golfer.”
The winner of the VGA Tour will have the opportunity to try to sink a putt on a real golf course for $1 million.

“Links 2003”
gives golfers the opportunity to play on some of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive golf courses, including Cabo del Sol (Mexico), Kauri Cliffs (New Zealand), GLENEAGLES (Scotland), The Tribute at Otsego Club and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Cambrian Ridge (United States). In addition,
golfers can play the
“Links 2001”
courses, as well as hundreds of user-created courses available for download at .

“Links 2003”
is designed for fast and easy online play. Using the all-new
Match Maker, PC golfers can start an online tournament and play against their friends at any time. Players can even join matches online via a simplified, in-game process or via e-mail.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC ( ), including such franchises as
“Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator”
“Zoo Tycoon (TM)”
; Xbox ( ), including such franchises as
“Halo (TM) ,” “Project Gotham Racing (TM)”
“NFL Fever”
; and ( ), the official games channel for the MSN®
network and home to such hits as
“OutSmart (TM) .”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

* NPD TechWorldSM, August 1992–May 2002 (based on retail sales)

Microsoft, Links, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, MSN and OutSmart 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 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 .

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