Xbox 360: The Future of Entertainment
May 12, 2005, New York — Celebrating the dawn of a new era in entertainment, game fanatics across the globe came together tonight for the televised unveiling of Xbox 360, the future-generation game and entertainment system from Microsoft. An audience of millions watched MTV: Music Television as celebrities, professional athletes, musicians, and Xbox officials took the wraps off the much-anticipated system, ending months of intense speculation and satiating consumers worldwide.
The new Xbox 360 places players at the center of powerful next-generation games and entertainment experiences. The elegant design features a breakthrough wireless controller and an array of “Faces,” interchangeable faceplates that let gamers personalize their console. The unveiling spotlighted some of the groundbreaking Xbox 360 games in development for the new system, advancements for Xbox Live–the runaway leader in online gaming services–, and new digital media experiences that only Xbox 360 can deliver.
“With the first generation of Xbox, our ambition was to change the way people think about video games,” said Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s chief Xbox officer. “Starting today with Xbox 360, our ambition is to revolutionize the way people think about fun.”
Xbox 360 will unleash the greatest game lineup in the history of video games when it launches in North America, Europe, and Japan this holiday season. The games that captured the color, drama, and fun of high-definition gameplay at the MTV unveiling included 2K Games’ NBA 2K6; Activision, Inc.’s Call of Duty 2, QUAKE 4, and Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland; Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 06, Need For Speed Most Wanted, and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06; Majesco Games’ The Darkness, Microsoft Game Studios’ Perfect Dark Zero, Kameo: Elements of Power, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Gears of War; THQ’s Saint’s Row; and Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 3.
Platform and Partners Power the Portfolio
Xbox 360 ignites a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized, and always in high definition. It is the only system designed with a singular platform vision that combines the most-powerful hardware with intelligent software and services.
Every Xbox 360 game is optimized for a minimum of 720p high-definition output with anti-aliasing. Regardless of the TV that Xbox 360 connects to, gamers will experience smooth, cinematic experiences that far exceed anything they’ve seen or felt in games before.
Xbox 360 also features software so smart it remembers what gamers have achieved. The Xbox Guide Button is the launch pad that connects gamers to their games, friends, and music from the wireless controller.
With more than one teraflop of system-floating point performance, a three-core PowerPC-based CPU for the most-advanced artificial intelligence and physics processing, a custom ATI graphics processor, and more than 512 megabytes of memory for the ultimate in visual fidelity, the Xbox 360 hardware is a perfect blend of power, elegance, and balance. When combined with unrivaled XNA software development tools, game creators can produce truly believable, thriving worlds.
Fabled game studios such as BioWare, Bizarre Creations, Bungie Studios, and Rare as well as legendary Japanese game creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, and Yoshiki Okamoto are harnessing the powerful Xbox 360 platform to create exclusive games for Microsoft Game Studios. Equally commanding, game-changing publishers like 2K Games; Activision, Inc.; Capcom; Electronic Arts; Tecmo; Namco Hometek, Inc; Rockstar Games; SEGA; THQ; and Ubisoft–just to name a few–are flocking to Xbox 360.
“Xbox 360 marks the beginning of a renaissance in video games,” said Don Mattrick, president of Worldwide Studios for Electronic Arts. “The unbelievable Xbox 360 games in development at Electronic Arts will accelerate the industry’s mission to make video games the preeminent form of entertainment.”
“With Xbox 360, a new chapter in video game history is being written,” said Kathy Vrabeck, president of Activision Publishing. “The platform liberates us to achieve new levels of graphics and gameplay so our audiences connect emotionally with more riveting stories, more believable characters, and more open, living worlds.”
Xbox Live–New Levels of Service Get Everyone in the Game
Connect Xbox 360 to a broadband connection, and it’s on. With a free level of Xbox Live service, players can share their Gamer Profile comprised of user-generated information such as Achievements (rewards players have earned in games), Gamerzone (style of play), and a custom-created Gamertile (a visual icon to represents the gamer online)–with their friends in the community. And, with the free level of Xbox Live, players can send and receive text and voice messages to friends, as well as engage in Xbox Live voice chat anywhere, anytime, even if one person is playing a game while the other is watching a progressive-scan enabled DVD movie. Also available is the Xbox Live Marketplace, a one-stop shop to download demos and trailers along with new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins, community-created content, and more to the detachable Xbox 360 hard drive.
Xbox Live members who subscribe to the premium service can experience the thrill of multiplayer online gameplay. Gamer Profiles will provide a foundation for intelligent matchmaking, so players of similar skill levels and interests can quickly and easily connect, and the Xbox Live Camera peripheral will let gamers add their own faces into games and see their friends while they play. Other Xbox Live features for premium members include video messaging, online tournaments and ladders, and exclusive, original programming such as playing with celebrities online and joining sponsored tournaments to win prizes. And all Xbox 360 owners who sign on to Xbox Live for the first time can kick-start their experience with a free month of the full subscription service, which will let them experience the full power of Xbox Live.
Unlock a New World of Digital Entertainment
With Xbox 360, gamers are always on. At its core, Xbox 360 is an amazing game machine with a wide selection of titles. But it is also an entertainment system that lets people power new experiences. Every Xbox 360 system has built-in progressive scan DVD movie, CD music, and photo playback support. The integration of Xbox Live into the system lets players receive game invites from friends while they’re watching movies or listening to music. And every MP3 player, digital camera, and Windows XP PC can plug right into the Xbox 360 USB 2.0 ports to stream music and photos through any home entertainment system.
Additionally, with built in Windows Media Center Extender functionality in every system, Xbox 360 players can access recorded TV and digital movies, music, video, and photos stored on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs.
Xbox 360 also opens the door to incredible new high-definition entertainment. In addition to optimizing all Xbox 360 games for high definition, Xbox 360 will stream high-definition TV and movies stored on Windows Media Center Edition PCs starting this holiday. As high-definition entertainment becomes more pervasive, Microsoft will offer more ways to experience high-definition TV and movies in any room in the house, any way people want it. Whether through dropping an optical disc in a drive, streaming to Xbox 360, or broadband distribution, Xbox 360 will let players choose how to light up their HD content.
“Xbox 360 is a revolution that promises to ignite new levels of creativity, community, and competition,” Bach said. “Tonight’s unveiling is a signal to the world that this is our industry’s greatest moment.”
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the future-generation video game and entertainment system that places you at the center of the experience. Available this holiday in North America, Europe, and Japan, Xbox 360 will ignite a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized, and always in high definition.
Microsoft, Xbox, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation 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.