Microsoft’s E3 Booth Showcases Vitality of Games for Windows

REDMOND, Wash., May 5, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. will continue breaking ground in the computer gaming arena next week, as Games for Windows®
establishes its presence at the interactive entertainment industry’s largest trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The new Games for Windows booth will showcase platform-defining titles for Windows and make Microsoft the first company to host two booths in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The booth (No. 968) will feature 20 games from the hottest publishers in the industry, including Electronic Arts Inc., Atari Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

“By concentrating all these great games in a single location, you can get an immediate sense of the excitement happening on Windows,” said Dean Lester, general manager of Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies at Microsoft. “These titles represent just a small sample of the incredible innovation developers are bringing to the Windows platform — a platform that delivers deep, detailed experiences.”

Richard Garriott, known for his visionary leadership in role-playing games (RPGs), will be in the Games for Windows booth on Wednesday, May 12, autographing memorabilia from his latest title, “Lineage II.” Also, show attendees will be able to take the “Unreal Tournament 2004” Challenge and compete for the highest score in this smash hit from Epic Games Inc. and Atari. The best player at E3 will take home a new computer and hardware from Creative Labs Inc. and NVIDIA Corp., with prizes awarded every day of the show.

In addition, the company will showcase Microsoft®
XNA (TM) , its recently announced software development platform.

“Several weeks ago at the Game Developers Conference, we promised that XNA would open up new experiences for gamers,” said J Allard, corporate vice president and chief XNA architect at Microsoft. “We’ll show some exciting early progress with a key title at E3 that demonstrates the kinds of breakthroughs XNA can make possible in the years to come.”

Microsoft will also demonstrate the Windows XP Game Advisor, a powerful Web-based tool that sorts through a variety of genres and age-group choices to present the best matches for gamers of all levels, from more than 150 of the hottest titles available for Windows today.

The Games for Windows pavilion is expected to feature the following:

  • “Auto Assault,” NCsoft Corp., holiday 2004, rating pending. Players take out their road rage in this stunning post-apocalyptic world. “Auto Assault” is the definitive departure from traditional massively multiplayer online games. “Auto Assault” features fast-paced vehicular combat, high-tech, futuristic weaponry and intense skills.

  • “Dungeon Siege 2,” Microsoft Game Studios, fall 2004, rating pending. Set in the fantasy land of Aranna, this sequel promises to set a new standard in role-playing games by combining an intriguing story line with intense, real-time, party-based combat.

  • “EverQuest II,” Sony Online Entertainment, fall 2004, rating pending. The next-generation version of this massively multiplayer online RPG phenomenon will deliver a new world full of danger, adventure and mystery for players to explore, with unparalleled graphical realism and voices for every nonplayer character (NPC).

  • “Ground Control II: Operation Exodus,” Vivendi Universal Games, summer 2004, Teen. In a departure from traditional real-time strategy games, this title delivers explosively fast gameplay with a focus on squad tactics and interesting combat situations.

  • “Guild Wars,” NCsoft, fall 2004, rating pending. Players rediscover the fun of role-playing games with this action hit, which combines innovative gameplay based on player skill and free online play. They can join with their friends to battle armies of intelligent monsters, fulfill quests or compete against other player teams in an ongoing tournament for worldly powers.

  • “Myst IV Revelation,” Ubisoft Entertainment SA, fall 2004, rating pending. The newest installment of the critically acclaimed adventure franchise includes a suspenseful storyline, mind-bending puzzles and a soundtrack featuring world-renowned recording artist Peter Gabriel.

  • “RollerCoaster Tycoon 3,” Atari, holiday 2004, rating pending. This completely new and redesigned sequel to Chris Sawyer’s top-selling tycoon franchise introduces gorgeous 3-D graphics and a new Coaster Cam feature that allows players to ride the coasters they build.

  • “Shrek 2,” Activision Inc., spring 2004, Everyone. Players join Shrek and his friends on a twisted fairy-tale adventure. They play as one of six characters; an automated buddy system selects the right character for the challenge as they explore Shrek’s world and unlock PC-exclusive levels.

  • “Sid Meier’s Pirates!” Atari, holiday 2004, rating pending Sid Meier and Firaxis Games bring this legendary action-strategy game to the 21st century, introducing more challenging and exciting battle options as players live the life of a pirate.

  • “Silent Hunter 3,” Ubisoft, holiday 2004, rating pending. Players take on the role of a U-boat commander in this tension-filled submarine simulation, which combines historical action and realistic combat for compelling World War II naval action.

  • “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl,” THQ Inc., 2004, rating pending While battling the game’s mutant creatures, players explore the vast territory of the 30-square-kilometer zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in this upcoming first-person shooter (FPS)/survival title.

  • “Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed,” LucasArts, fall 2004, rating pending. The Star Wars Galaxies franchise extends into space with a whole new level of twitch-based gameplay, allowing real-time space dogfights against faction-aligned opponents or AI-controlled ships while traveling throughout 10 content-rich space sectors.

  • “Star Wars Republic Commando,” LucasArts, holiday 2004, rating pending. Leading a three-man squad of Republic Commandos, players go on missions that take them deep behind enemy lines on more than 14 challenging levels through three campaigns. They will have more than a dozen deadly weapons at their disposal, but none more lethal than their squad.

  • “The Sims 2,” Electronic Arts, fall 2004, rating pending. In the next-generation sequel of “The Sims,” “The Sims 2” players direct their Sims over an entire lifetime. It’s up to players to mix their Sims’ genes, fulfill their dreams and push them to extremes.

  • “Tribes: Vengeance,” Vivendi Universal Games, holiday 2004, rating pending. Throughout this thriller game placed in a time of a war spanning generations, players are given the opportunity to experience the full scope of the single-player story through multiple viewpoints and characters.

  • “Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines,” Activision, holiday 2004, rating pending. This visually stunning RPG features rich character development, character interaction and a deep storyline as it plunges players into the dark and gritty vampire underworld of modern-day Los Angeles while battling mortals and creatures with an incredible array of powers, skills and weapons.

  • “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War,” THQ, fall 2004, rating pending. Taking strategy gaming to new cinematic, visceral heights, this title is set in a futuristic universe ruled by brutal warfare where four ancient enemy races collide with a single objective: annihilation of all others.

  • “World of Warcraft,” Blizzard Entertainment, 2004, rating pending. Players descend into this gorgeous, massively multiplayer universe and join thousands of other mighty heroes in an online world of myth, magic and limitless adventure. Players’ definition of “epic” is about to be shattered.

  • “Zoo Tycoon (TM) 2,” Microsoft Game Studios, fall 2004, rating pending. Introducing enhanced building options and more management choices, the newest addition to the popular simulation franchise now enables players to step into the zoo for a face-to-face experience with the animals and guests.

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. More information is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows, XNA and Zoo Tycoon 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.

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