Microsoft Announces the $25,000 XSN Sports World Championship

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 2003 — Think you can steady your nerves to hit a game-deciding free throw with no time left on the clock? How about smash a cross-court backhand winner in the final set of a championship tennis match? Can you hole a 30-foot putt on 18? What about ride the rails on the world’s hottest mountains? Now try it with $25,000 on the line. Today, gamers on the Xbox®
video game system and Xbox Live (TM) online game service are able to register for the XSN Sports World Championship, the most competitive and intense online sports tournament in the history of console video games, at .

The XSN Sports World Championship will be held Feb. 11–12, 2004, in Los Angeles. Eight participants, with one guest each, will be flown to that city to compete for a $25,000 grand prize and the bragging rights that come with the title of XSN Sports World Champion.

“The XSN Sports Championship is proof that online sports gaming has arrived and that Xbox continues to lead the way in innovation,” said Ed Fries, corporate vice president of game content at Microsoft. “Since launching the XSN Sports line of video games and bringing to life, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of gamers who are creating customized leagues and tournaments among their friends. The XSN Sports Championship is a celebration of this competitive sports fan and provides the perfect forum for the best of the best to go head to head and earn ultimate bragging rights.”

To make it to Los Angeles, XSN Sports gamers must register at and win an online feeder tournament that will be held for each of the six XSN Sports game titles: “NFL Fever 2004,” “NHL Rivals 2004,” “Amped® 2,” “Top Spin (TM),” “NBA Inside Drive 2004” and “Links®
2004.” Two at-large gamers will be invited to round out the competition. The feeder tournaments will begin Dec. 29 and continue through Jan. 27, 2004. Feeder tournament winners will collect a $1,000 check and trophy, and earn a free trip to Los Angeles to compete for the overall title.

The six feeder tournaments are as follows:

  • “NFL Fever 2004” Championship Series

  • “NBA Inside Drive 2004” Championship Series

  • “NHL Rivals 2004” Championship Series

  • “Top Spin” Championship Series

  • “Links 2004” Championship Series

  • “Amped 2” Championship Series

Microsoft, Xbox Live and XSN Sports will crown the ultimate sports gamer in all six of the titles the XSN Sports World Champion. Proficiency in all the games is necessary to have a shot at winning the top prize. If “Top Spin” is your game, that could get you as far as winning the “Top Spin” Championship Series, but to win the XSN Sports World Championship you’ll want to develop skills in “Links 2004,” “NFL Fever 2004,” “Amped 2,” “NBA Inside Drive 2004” and “NHL Rivals 2004” too. No online gaming athlete will pocket the $25,000 unless he or she can compete in multiple games.

The XSN Sports World Championship will be the most grueling and competitive sports online tournament in the history of video games, with the top 256 gamers in each sport taking part in the six feeder tournaments. Do you have what it takes to qualify?

Registration for the XSN Sports World Championship is now live and will continue through Tuesday, Dec. 23. There has never been a better time to pick up the latest XSN Sports titles and begin practicing. Use the next few weeks to build your XSN Sports resume, improve your stats and battle against the world’s best XSN Sports gamers on . If you want a shot at the glory and the cash, you must play more than you have ever played before.

Check out for all the information, including rules and regulations, for the XSN Sports World Championship.

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About Xbox

Xbox ( ) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tag line, “It’s good to play together,” captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

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, Xbox, Xbox Live , Amped, Top Spin and Links and 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.

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