Master Chief Set to Conquer New Grounds; “Halo” for Windows Storms Store Shelves Sept. 30

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 2003 —
Master Chief has a new mission, and this time he is battling the Covenant on Microsoft® Windows® based personal computers. Microsoft Game Studios, Bungie Studios and Gearbox Software today announced that “Halo
” for Windows is available at retailers across the United States for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.)

With its rich storyline and intense gameplay, “Halo” is considered by many to be the benchmark against which other games are judged. Optimized for the Windows platform and leveraging the power of Microsoft DirectX® 9.0 application programming interface, “Halo” enables gamers across the globe to live the incredible sci-fi epic adventure that elevated the original “Halo” for the Xbox®
video game system into gaming legend status.

“With more than 3 millions copies sold worldwide, ‘Halo’ is the most successful Xbox game ever and is now available on Windows,” said Ed Fries, corporate vice president at Microsoft Games Studio. “‘Halo’ brings the excitement of the award-winning game to PC gamers with additional features, including enhanced graphics, and new, online multiplayer capabilities.”

For the first time, gamers can challenge one another online competitively or cooperatively. “Halo” for Windows supports as many as 16 players online and has a multitude of new multiplayer features. Gamers can use the all-new Rocket Launcher Warthog and flying Banshee in battles for online dominance through 19 multiplayer maps including six all-new maps.

“The ‘Halo’ team at Gearbox is fired up to unleash ‘Halo’ on PC gamers,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “The entire crew at Gearbox can’t wait for launch day to go online and play with our customers using all the unique maps, weapons and features that are exclusive to the Windows version of Halo.”

In addition to supporting Internet play and local area networks, Microsoft has set aside dedicated servers for “Halo” to allow hoards of gamers to compete against each other in thrilling, online multiplayer games. These dedicated servers offer gamers a simple way to connect online hassle-free.

In conjunction with the launch of “Halo,” iGames and the Cyberathlete Professional League®
(CPL) are organizing tournaments to determine the ultimate “Halo” gamers.

The CPL ( will host the NVIDIA $30,000 “Halo” for Windows

Championship Dec. 16–20, 2003, at The CPL Pentium®
4 Processor Winter 2003 Championships in Dallas, Texas.

Microsoft, with the help of iGames services, also plans to support the launch of “Halo” with a worldwide tournament starting in November 2003 and culminating in January 2004. Gamers will compete for prizes with an estimated value in excess of $30,000, plus the ultimate grand prize of being crowned “The Worlds Best ‘Halo’ Player.”

About Bungie

Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve the real goal of total world domination. Over the last 10 years it produced games like the “Marathon Trilogy” and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. “Halo: Combat Evolved,” its latest game, has achieved phenomenal success on the Microsoft Xbox video game system. More information on Bungie can be found at

About Gearbox

Gearbox Software was founded in January of 1999 by a group of experienced 3d game artists, designers and engineers in Dallas, TX. The developers at Gearbox Software have contributed to many of the most acclaimed franchises in interactive entertainment, including “Civilization,” “Duke Nukem 3d,” “Quake,” “Half-Life,” “James Bond 007,” “Counter-Strike,” “Doom,” “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” and now “Halo: Combat Evolved.” More information on Gearbox can be found at .

About Microsoft Game Studios

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

About Games for Windows

Games for Windows are built to harness the powerful technology of Windows to provide gamers with the most innovative games possible. Games for Windows utilize the performance and stability of Windows to bring serious gaming to everyone. Reliability, compatibility and the freedom of customization empower gamers to create their own gaming destiny.

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.

Microsoft, Windows, Halo, DirectX, Xbox, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, 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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