Microsoft has put out a press release detailing all the game we can look forward to this year and next. You saw most of them this evening but there are a couple that didn’t make it. After the drop, if you please.
By Mike Bowden
Xbox 360 Unveils Gameplay for Every Passion
Microsoft showcases groundbreaking approach to game shows; “Final Fantasy XIII” to be available on Xbox 360 at launch in North America and Europe.
LOS ANGELES — July 14, 2008 — Music, movies and megahits. No matter what kind of game makes your heart race, today at the E3 Media and Business Summit (E3) in Los Angeles the world of Xbox 360 just got bigger, broader and more exciting than ever.
Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a games portfolio for all ages and interests. Included were new titles for music lovers such as “Lips” and the exclusive launch of “Rock Band 2”; family-friendly games from the B-movie maker “You’re in the Movies” to next-generation game shows such as “1 vs. 100”; and even surprise announcements to make the hardest-core gamer weak in the knees, with the reveal of “Final Fantasy XIII,” to be available on Xbox 360 at launch in North America and Europe.
“Xbox 360 delivers entertainment choices so broad that it now rivals what people can find on television and at movie theaters,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of strategy and business development with Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. “Whether it’s sports, music, movies, game shows or great games you crave, Xbox 360 is home to the biggest and best out there. From those new to games and eager to jump in, to the hardcore gamer looking for the most intense games experiences, this is truly the year to own an Xbox 360 system.”
The New Game Show Experience, Live From Your Living Room
Xbox LIVE Primetime is a groundbreaking channel on the new Xbox experience, a new generation of games and entertainment experiences that will be available this fall for Xbox 360. The world’s biggest virtual game show stage, Xbox LIVE Primetime is a place where content is always fresh; play is global, live and massively multiplayer; and prizes are plentiful. A first-of-its-kind phenomenon, this new generation of interactive game shows lets Xbox LIVE members challenge friends and choose to compete against people from across the globe in real time. Xbox LIVE Primetime launches in the fall with the following interactive game:
• “1 vs. 100” (Endemol). From the makers of “Deal or No Deal,” Endemol, the world’s largest independent production company, brings the popular television game show “1 vs. 100” to Xbox LIVE Primetime. The exclusive game pits one Xbox LIVE member against 100 others from around the world with a live host and great prizes. The goal of “the One” is to eliminate all the opposition by correctly answering questions, hoping that the opponents will answer incorrectly and be eliminated from the game. And stay tuned for “1 vs. LIVE,” where one lucky winner will have a chance to compete against the entire Xbox LIVE community.
Bringing Music Games to Life
Whether you’re an aspiring groupie, songbird or big-haired rocker, Xbox 360 transforms your living room into a thrilling soundstage for you and your friends. No other system connects you with all the music you love:
• “Lips” (iNiS/Microsoft Game Studios). “Lips,” an all-new music franchise exclusively from Xbox 360, is the only singing game that offers wireless motion-sensitive microphones and the ability to sing from your own music collection.* Start channeling your favorite pop star, because it’s you, your friends and, most important, your music that makes “Lips” the world’s ultimate party experience this holiday.
• “Guitar Hero® World Tour” (RedOctane/Activision). When the house lights go down this fall, a new generation of axe shredders, drummers and fearless frontmen will come together and rock with “Guitar Hero World Tour.” The latest installment from the No. 1 best-selling video game franchise of 2007, “Guitar Hero World Tour” will transform music gaming by marrying the exhilarating guitar gameplay of “Guitar Hero” with a cooperative band experience that combines the most advanced wireless instruments with revolutionary new online and offline gameplay modes. The game will feature a slick newly redesigned guitar, a genuine electronic drum kit and a microphone, as well as an innovative Music Studio music creator that lets players compose, record, edit and share their own rock-and-roll anthems, along with online Band Career and eight-player “Battle of the Bands.” “Guitar Hero World Tour” is being developed by Neversoft Entertainment and will be available for Xbox 360 this fall.
• “Rock Band 2” (Harmonix/MTV Games). Debuting exclusively on Xbox 360 this September, “Rock Band” is developed by Harmonix and published by MTV Games. “Rock Band 2” is the next evolution of the franchise that allows players to virtually step into the shoes of their favorite bands as singer, guitarist, bassist or drummer. This next iteration of the best-selling franchise will allow gamers to access all the great songs they purchased on Xbox LIVE for the original game and will feature new online capabilities and instrument options.
Xbox 360 Is the Life of the Party
Xbox 360 truly gets the party started with a wide-ranging portfolio of exclusive games for the whole family, including the following:
• “You’re in the Movies” (Codemasters/Microsoft). Get ready for your close-up. “You’re in the Movies” brings the cool factor to kitsch as you live out your dreams of becoming a scream queen, zombie or kung fu fighter. Premiering exclusively on Xbox 360 this holiday season, “You’re in the Movies” is the first and only game of its kind to literally transport players into a magical world of cinema mixed with the hilarious world of improvisation. Using the Xbox LIVE Vision camera, players’ actions are captured and placed into short, riotous films. Performances never end up on the cutting-room floor, and are never the same.
• “Scene It? Box Office Smash” (Krome Studios and Screenlife/Microsoft Game Studios). “Scene It? Box Office Smash,” the revolutionary movie trivia game on Xbox 360, will ignite your game night this holiday season with totally new questions, movie puzzles and more high-definition (HD) content from real movies including some of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters. Trivia night goes global as players challenge each other online over Xbox LIVE, customize their own characters, and access extra questions and localized content from films around the world.**
• “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” (Rare Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios). Available exclusively on Xbox 360 in November, from the creative masterminds at Rare, “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” is an action-adventure game that breathes new life into a franchise that has entertained people of all ages for a decade. In a platform genre first, players create their own abilities by building vehicles for Banjo to pilot over land, sea and air in a variety of Challenges where their choice of vehicle and tactics determines the course of the adventure. Players can test their customized vehicles against other players’ creations online or simply compare and share their inventions with friends. The original “Banjo-Kazooie” also debuts with “Stop ’N’ Swop” on Xbox LIVE Arcade later this year.
• “DanceDanceRevolution® UNIVERSE3” (Konami). Celebrating its 10th anniversary, “DanceDanceRevolution UNIVERSE3” dances its way to you with fun new modes — including DJ Mode and Quest Mode — and settings for players of all skill levels. In addition to one of the biggest soundtracks — more than 70 songs spanning from the ’70s to some of today’s hottest tracks — “DanceDanceRevolution UNIVERSE3” brings friends together from around the world via Xbox LIVE.** Character customization features more than 400 options of clothing, faces, skin tones and hairstyles, allowing players to create the ultimate dancer.
• “UNO RUSH™” (Microsoft). “UNO RUSH” is a challenging and exciting party card game for up to four players. Developed by the same team that brought the original, best-selling “UNO®” to Xbox LIVE Arcade, “UNO RUSH” boasts a wide range of gameplay and social features — multiple variants, house-rule options, local and Xbox LIVE multiplay, camera support, avatar support, and more — plus fast-paced gameplay to keep the party going. “UNO RUSH” is coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
• “Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise” (Rare Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios). In this sequel to the colorful sleeper hit “Viva Piñata” debuting in September, players can venture outside the boundaries of the immersive and ever-changing garden to retrieve exotic piñata species from two new lands, the Dessert Desert and the Piñarctic. Developed by Rare, “Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise” allows up to four players to work together to create the ultimate online garden via Xbox LIVE.** Players can race their favorite piñata or enter them into the P-Factor, Piñata Islands very own talent show and beauty pageant, online against friends or against other gardeners from the island. They can now use the Xbox LIVE Vision camera to drop a new piñata right into their gardens, change the weather or share their custom piñatas with others.
The Biggest Blockbusters of 2008 and Beyond
With the most blockbuster, million-selling games and the most anticipated titles of 2008 and beyond, Xbox 360 is the pre-eminent place to play all the big titles that gamers thirst for, including the following:
• “Final Fantasy XIII” (Square Enix). “Final Fantasy XIII” is the eagerly anticipated title from Square Enix that takes full advantage of the superior power and technology in Xbox 360, providing tangible, intuitive controls while delivering seamless transitions between real-time gameplay and stunning in-game cinematics. Using the latest in cutting-edge technology, this latest addition to the “Final Fantasy” series is worthy of the title “next generation.”
• “Galaga Legions” (NAMCO BANDAI Games). The arcade shooter “Galaga” has captivated players all over the world, and now the legend lives on with “Galaga Legions.” Featuring table-turning game dynamics, updated graphics and vast waves of ferocious enemies, “Galaga Legions” was created by the same team that developed the best-selling “PAC-MAN Championship Edition” for Xbox LIVE Arcade. “Galaga Legions” will debut exclusively on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
• “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2” (Bizarre Creations Ltd./Activision). The latest version of the frenetic retro shooter, “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2” debuts exclusively on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008. Newcomers and pros alike will be blown away by the screen-melting intensity and insane new features, including six action-packed gameplay modes, new enemies, scoring strategies and a diverse list of exciting Achievements. “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2” also supports multiplayer mayhem for up to four players, with versus or co-op modes, and features razor-sharp 1080p graphics and new, pulse-pounding music.
• “Portal™: Still Alive” (Valve/Microsoft). “Portal: Still Alive” features the full award-winning “Portal” single-player game from Valve plus a new challenge mode. Designed to change the way players approach, manipulate and surmise the possibilities in any given environment, “Portal” has earned more than 70 industry honors for its innovative gameplay, with more than 30 Game of the Year Awards. Solve physical puzzles and challenges by opening portals to maneuvering objects, and yourself, through space. The game is debuting on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
• “South Park” (South Park Digital Studios/Doublesix/Microsoft). Based on the Emmy- and Peabody-award winning show, a “South Park” game (title TBA) is coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2009.
• “Fable II” (Lionhead Studios/Microsoft Game Studios). This Xbox 360 exclusive action role-playing game offers players an epic storyline and an unprecedented level of freedom and choice. Every decision defines who the player becomes and influences the evolving world around them. “Fable II” is the next great step for the genre, with an innovative dynamic cooperative mode, where players can choose to invite a friend on the same couch or over Xbox LIVE to experience the world together.** The journey begins in August with a first-of-its-kind exclusive Xbox LIVE Arcade title, which allows players to get a head start on earning gold that will transfer to the rich world of “Fable II” when it arrives at stores in October.
• “Gears of War 2” (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios). Epic Games’ design director Cliff Bleszinski gave a stunning new look at the “Gears of War 2” campaign, and confirmed the ability to ride the fearsome Brumak. Also detailed was the all-new five-player cooperative mode “Horde,” where players unite to battle a seemingly endless onslaught of Locust Horde forces.** “Gears of War 2” is the most anticipated Xbox 360 exclusive title this holiday season and will be released worldwide Nov. 7.
• “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games). Continuing its blistering pace on the Xbox 360 platform, the first of the Xbox 360 exclusive downloadable episodes for this record-breaking game will be available this fall — the only console with new “Grand Theft Auto IV” content available this holiday season.
• “Halo Wars” (Ensemble Studios/Microsoft Game Studios). Microsoft is further expanding the “Halo” universe with “Halo Wars,” the blockbuster strategy game designed exclusively for the Xbox 360. A piece of the “Halo Wars” story is revealed through “Five Long Years,” a trailer from Ensemble Studios and Microsoft, which showcases the brutal struggle for control of Harvest early in the Human-Covenant wars. “Halo Wars” will put gamers in command of the entire battlefield, leading both UNSC and Covenant forces.
• “Infinite Undiscovery™” (Square Enix). “Infinite Undiscovery” is the newest fantasy role-playing console game from Square Enix, drawing gamers into a real-time world woven of countless threads where player choices spin untold discoveries — only on Xbox 360. Players will be confronted with a variety of dramatic situational battles, such as executing a daring escape while a gigantic ogre follows in hot pursuit, or waging battle amid towering tidal waves. Dynamic environments change and respond in real time, creating an entirely new experience never before seen in the genre. The title is scheduled to release exclusively on Xbox 360 in North America on Sept. 2, 2008.
• “The Last Remnant™” (Square Enix). “The Last Remnant” is a new role-playing game crafted using the finest artistry and technology Square Enix has to offer. Set in a fantasy world, war-torn and scarred by years of conflict, gameplay revolves around mysterious artifacts — Remnants — that possess magic powers. Groundbreaking graphics possible only on Xbox 360 bring the intensity to a whole new level. “The Last Remnant” is launching worldwide on November 20 and will be available only on Xbox 360.
• “Resident Evil 5” (Capcom). Destined to bring new fans to the series, “Resident Evil 5” is the sequel to one of the highest-rated video games in history (according to Metacritic.com and Gamerankings.com). Promising to revolutionize the series by delivering an unbelievable level of detail, realism and control, “Resident Evil 5” unleashes an unprecedented level of fear for the next generation. New technology developed specifically for the game, as well as incredible changes to both the gameplay and the “Resident Evil” world, will make this a must-have game for gamers across the globe.
• “STAR OCEAN®: The Last Hope™” (Square Enix). “STAR OCEAN: The Last Hope” is the long-awaited continuation of the celebrated science fiction and fantasy role-playing game series. Slated for release on Xbox 360 in spring 2009 and published by Square Enix, this prequel set during the aftermath of World War III combines science fiction and fantasy elements spanning multiple planets and the vastness of space itself to recount the origins of the STAR OCEAN universe. Exhilarating combat expands upon the franchise’s famous real-time battle system, introducing the amazing graphics and visual effects possible only on Xbox 360.
• “Too Human” (Silicon Knights/Microsoft Game Studios). “Too Human” is an epic action game with integrated role-playing game elements, and will be available in North America on Aug. 19 and in Europe on Aug. 29. The game features a rich storyline with deep character development, both hallmarks of Silicon Knights’ legendary tradition of video game development.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest games plus more standard and high-definition movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. The digital center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content, including personal pictures and music, with a unified online social network to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
*The functionality of songs played from personal music collections will vary.
**Xbox LIVE Gold Membership required for online play.
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