REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 17, 2006 — The colorful cast of “Viva Piñata™,” a new game for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system, will be the bearers of fun, music, children’s activities and video game demonstrations at six launch events in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Microsoft Corp. will host the multicity tour to celebrate the launch of “Viva Piñata” for the Xbox 360, as well as to provide parents with information about online safety and “Viva Piñata”-related educational programs for children.
“The Xbox 360 game ‘Viva Piñata’ inspired us to take the spirit of the game and expand the concept to create learning tools to help kids experience more about their Hispanic heritage in a fun and engaging way,” said Chris Di Cesare, director of Xbox marketing at Microsoft. “One example is a ‘Viva Piñata’ digital desktop pet piñata that people can download to their computer. Every day the piñata will share new information about Hispanic culture from key holidays to Spanish vocabulary.”
Children attending the events can enjoy piñata-making workshops, interactive video game demonstrations and the opportunity to be photographed with the characters from the “Viva Piñata” animated TV series. A traditional piñata breaking game will also give children an opportunity to win an Xbox 360 and “Viva Piñata” game.
“Viva Piñata,” which translates to “long live the piñata,” invites gamers of all ages and skill levels to create an immersive world where living piñatas inhabit an ever-changing environment. Beginning with a few basic tools, players build and take control of this environment, using their creativity and imagination to attract, protect, nurture and manage more than 60 piñata species that can visit their world and make it their home. The Xbox 360 video game follows the debut of the “Viva Piñata” Saturday morning animated television series on 4Kids TV Fox.
With the launch of “Viva Piñata,” Microsoft extends the Xbox 360 brand to younger gamers and more diverse audiences. The tour is one of several Microsoft marketing efforts aimed at attracting more U.S. Hispanic consumers, and acknowledgement of the growing influence of Hispanic culture. According to a report published by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, U.S. Hispanics will control more disposable personal income than any other U.S. minority group by 2007. Hispanic consumer spending power is expected to top $863 billion, a 300 percent increase in disposable spending power from 1990.
“The video game is one of several initiatives that Microsoft has created in an effort to promote diversity through innovative products,” said José Piñero, director of Multi-Cultural Marketing at Microsoft. “Microsoft’s initiative around ‘Viva Piñata’ is a clear indication of the company’s support and interest in the Hispanic community.”
“Viva Piñata” has a suggested retail price of $49.99, and is now available at major retailers nationwide. The game was created by Rare Ltd. and is rated E for Everyone. More information about the game can be found at http://www.vivapinata.com.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live® online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®”; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo®,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport™”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”
About Rare Ltd.
Rare Ltd., one of the world’s leading video game developers, was founded in 1985 by Chris and Tim Stamper and acquired by Microsoft Game Studios in 2002. Based in the United Kingdom, Rare is the mastermind behind some of the most popular video games available, including multimillion-dollar sellers “GoldenEye 007,” “Perfect Dark®,” “Banjo-Kazooie®” and “Donkey Kong 64.” In November 2005, Rare released “Perfect Dark: Zero™” and “Kameo™: Elements of Power™” for Xbox 360, the second-generation video games console from Microsoft, and continues to entertain the world with the upcoming release of “Viva Piñata.” For further information visit www.rareware.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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