Microsoft Ushers in a New Era of Sports Video Gaming With XSN Sports

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 28, 2003 — In a bold move designed to shake up the sports gaming industry, Microsoft Corp. officially unveiled its new brand of sports video games, XSN Sports. Each XSN Sports video game will include cutting-edge technology that will for the first time link the Xbox®
video game system, Xbox Live (TM) service and personal computer. XSN Sports will take sports gaming to another level by offering gamers the ability to set up leagues, build tournaments and analyze scouting reports on the centralized Web site, This new brand and the exclusive XSN Sports technology go live today, offering exciting new opportunities for sports gamers.

The XSN Sports revolution begins with
“NFL Fever 2004,”
the first title in the new XSN Sports brand and Microsoft’s best-selling football franchise exclusive to Xbox.
“NFL Fever 2004”
hits store shelves today to coincide with the launch of and the XSN Sports brand.

With, gamers will be able to battle their friends in a personalized and password-protected 16-game user-created season, challenge top-ranked online competitors in a worldwide tournament, or settle scores with bitter rivals from the comfort of their living room. will provide gamers with their own virtual sports page of their exploits and broadcast up-to-date statistics, standings, tendencies and trade proposals every 15 minutes. The site’s Web-based technology always keeps sports fans plugged into the competition on Xbox and the PC.

“XSN Sports will revolutionize sports video games as we know them,”
said Ed Fries, corporate vice president of Xbox games publishing at Microsoft.
“The ability to create customized leagues and tournaments among your group of friends, where the competition truly matters, is the breakthrough sports gamers have been waiting for.”

NFL Fever 2004

The inaugural title in the XSN Sports brand,
“NFL Fever 2004”
( ), the third installment of Microsoft’s best-selling Xbox- exclusive football franchise, is now available everywhere video games are sold.
“NFL Fever 2004,”
already playable with the world’s most competitive arena, the Xbox Live online game service, is ready to explode on the football scene with an improved defensive AI, the new
“read and lead”
passing feature, and an all-new play-calling interface with
“bluff mode.”
With the addition of XSN Sports and its league-management capabilities,
“NFL Fever 2004”
is poised for a breakout season.

XSN Sports Titles

In addition to
“NFL Fever 2004,”
XSN Sports features a robust lineup of Xbox-exclusive titles launching this fall, including these:

  • Top Spin (TM) .
    The complete tennis experience that allows gamers to experience intense, realistic tournament competition features 16 of the world’s greatest tennis stars including Pete Sampras, Anna Kournikova and Lleyton Hewitt.

  • Amped
    The sequel to the popular extreme sport title on Xbox now includes more rendered real mountains, new combo and style tricks, and multiplayer modes.

  • NBA Inside Drive 2004.
    The ultimate hoops experience now features new cover athlete Shaquille O’Neal and revamped offensive and defensive schemes.

  • Links
    The most realistic golf series on the PC has been specially designed for Xbox and is set to make its console debut.

  • NHL Rivals 2004.
    The first hockey title created by Microsoft for Xbox features Steve Yzerman as the cover athlete and the ultimate hockey experience.

Microsoft is supporting the XSN Sports brand and games under the brand with print and television advertising, a strong retail presence, online marketing and numerous publicity events.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide game company with two core businesses: game development and publishing ( ) and ( ).

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 is now available in the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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.

Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Live, Top Spin, Amped and Links are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Officially Licensed Product of PLAYERS INC. The PLAYERS INC logo is a registered trademark of the NFL players. (c) 2003 PLAYERS INC. (c) 2003 NFL Properties LLC. Team names and logos are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other (NFL-related marks) are trademarks of the National Football League.

The NBA and individual NBA member team identifications used on or in this product are trademarks, copyrighted designs and other forms of intellectual property of NBA Properties Inc. and the respective NBA member teams and may not be used, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of NBA Properties Inc. ( 2003 NBA Properties Inc. All rights reserved.

NHL and the National Hockey League are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2003 NHL. All Rights Reserved.

( NHLPA. Officially Licensed Product of the NHLPA. NHLPA, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA and are used under license by Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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