REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 28, 2003 — In a bold move designed to shake up the sports gaming industry, Microsoft Corp. officially unveiled its new brand of sports video games, XSN Sports. Each XSN Sports video game will include cutting-edge technology that will for the first time link the Xbox® video game system, Xbox Live (TM) service and personal computer. XSN Sports will take sports gaming to another level by offering gamers the ability to set up leagues, build tournaments and analyze scouting reports on the centralized Web site, XSNsports.com. This new brand and the exclusive XSN Sports technology go live today, offering exciting new opportunities for sports gamers.
The XSN Sports revolution begins with "NFL Fever 2004," the first title in the new XSN Sports brand and Microsoft's best-selling football franchise exclusive to Xbox. "NFL Fever 2004" hits store shelves today to coincide with the launch of XSNsports.com and the XSN Sports brand.
With XSNsports.com, gamers will be able to battle their friends in a personalized and password-protected 16-game user-created season, challenge top-ranked online competitors in a worldwide tournament, or settle scores with bitter rivals from the comfort of their living room. XSNsports.com will provide gamers with their own virtual sports page of their exploits and broadcast up-to-date statistics, standings, tendencies and trade proposals every 15 minutes. The site's Web-based technology always keeps sports fans plugged into the competition on Xbox and the PC.
"XSN Sports will revolutionize sports video games as we know them," said Ed Fries, corporate vice president of Xbox games publishing at Microsoft. "The ability to create customized leagues and tournaments among your group of friends, where the competition truly matters, is the breakthrough sports gamers have been waiting for."
"NFL Fever 2004"
The inaugural title in the XSN Sports brand, "NFL Fever 2004" ( http://www.xbox.com/nflfever2004/ ), the third installment of Microsoft's best-selling Xbox- exclusive football franchise, is now available everywhere video games are sold. "NFL Fever 2004," already playable with the world's most competitive arena, the Xbox Live online game service, is ready to explode on the football scene with an improved defensive AI, the new "read and lead" passing feature, and an all-new play-calling interface with "bluff mode." With the addition of XSN Sports and its league-management capabilities, "NFL Fever 2004" is poised for a breakout season.
XSN Sports Titles
In addition to "NFL Fever 2004," XSN Sports features a robust lineup of Xbox-exclusive titles launching this fall, including these:
"Top Spin (TM) ." The complete tennis experience that allows gamers to experience intense, realistic tournament competition features 16 of the world's greatest tennis stars including Pete Sampras, Anna Kournikova and Lleyton Hewitt.
"Amped® 2." The sequel to the popular extreme sport title on Xbox now includes more rendered real mountains, new combo and style tricks, and multiplayer modes.
"NBA Inside Drive 2004." The ultimate hoops experience now features new cover athlete Shaquille O'Neal and revamped offensive and defensive schemes.
"Links® 2004." The most realistic golf series on the PC has been specially designed for Xbox and is set to make its console debut.
"NHL Rivals 2004." The first hockey title created by Microsoft for Xbox features Steve Yzerman as the cover athlete and the ultimate hockey experience.
Microsoft is supporting the XSN Sports brand and games under the brand with print and television advertising, a strong retail presence, online marketing and numerous publicity events.
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