Report on Microsoft's Announcement of 27 Game Companies Hopping on Board for Broadband Gaming
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27 Game Companies to Unleash Broadband on Xbox

(May 17, 2001) Microsoft Corp. has announced that more than 27 game companies are planning to take advantage of the high-speed broadband capabilities built into Xbox, which is being released on November 8, 2001.

Acclaim Entertainment Inc., Activision Inc., ArtDink Corp., Atlus Company Ltd., Bandai Company Ltd., Capcom Co. Ltd., Codemasters, Crave Entertainment Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Eidos Interactive, FOX Interactive Inc., Gathering of Developers, INFOGRAMES Inc., Interplay Entertainment Corp., Konami Company Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., Midway Games Inc., Namco Ltd., Rage Software, Rockstar Games, Sega Entertainment Inc., Sierra On-Line Inc., Taito Corp., Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., TDK Systems, THQ and Ubi soft all onboard in supporting the Xbox online experience

Sega Sports’entire 2K3 lineup (including “NFL 2K3” and “NBA 2K3”), “Tony Hawk Pro Skater3,” “Unreal Championship” and “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” will be among the first online-enabled games available. In addition, Microsoft’s own Xbox game studios has more than a dozen online-enabled games in development in the United States and Japan. Bungie Studios, developer of the Xbox game “Halo,” will only create future games that take advantage of the broadband capabilities of Xbox.

“Online console gaming over broadband will change the face of video games forever,” said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. “When the Xbox online experience goes live next year, our development partners will have games ready that demonstrate how broadband online video games will have as dramatic an impact on the industry for the current generation of games as the move from 2D to 3D graphics did for the last generation.”

The following are some examples of how games may change as a result of the Xbox online console experience:

· In a basketball game, 10 players can play five on five, each controlling their own player. Players will be able to easily find their buddies and team up with them against other teams. They will be able to communicate and “talk trash” via voice chat.

· Gamers will be able to download episodic content. For example, racers will be able to download new tracks, cars and even real-time weather conditions from the city they are racing in.

· Player histories can automatically be tracked, including stats, level of accomplishment, tournament record and customized attributes the player has defined or earned. Players, team mates and opponents can then own bragging rights or measure the caliber of other players to ensure that multiplayer games are more evenly matched.

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