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MSN Gaming Zone Fact Sheet

MSN Gaming Zone

What: MSN Gaming Zone online multiplayer gaming service. or

Microsoft Corp. puts the fun and competitiveness back into computer gaming on the MSN Gaming Zone. With 5 million registered members from around the world, nearly 33,000 concurrent users at peak times,* and more than 90 available games, the Zone is the most popular and comprehensive gaming community on the Internet.

In addition, Microsoft has paired with leading players in the industry to offer members of the MSN Gaming Zone a variety of gaming services including industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos and online shopping.


Many free games. Free classic card, board and puzzle games are offered for gamers seeking easy-to-use multiplayer gaming experiences, including all-time favorites such as "Spades" and "Backgammon." Both the game software and matchmaking are free.**

Free matchmaking. The easy-to-use matchmaking system on the Zone allows users of popular retail games, such as the Microsoft "Age of Empires" game, Red Storm's "Rainbow Six" and Lucas Arts' "Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II," to find and compete against other players. Lobbies in the ZoneMatch player matchmaking system include a chat area, a latency indicator and a player list.

Original premium games. The Zone offers original games designed especially for Internet play. The Microsoft "Fighter Ace" online multiplayer game is a World War II aerial combat game that allows over 100 players to dogfight in the same flight arena. Other premium games being developed for the Zone include the Microsoft "Asheron's Call" online multiplayer game, and "Allegiance" , an action game set in space. Members of the Zone have the opportunity to try a premium game once for a free** three-day trial, after which they are asked to subscribe if they wish to continue.

Expanded gaming services. The Zone has expanded its offerings to provide its members a single source for all their gaming needs. New services include key partnerships that offer:

Up-to-date PC and console news, game previews, reviews, strategy guides, hints and tips.

Game downloads and demos.

Acquiring games through MSN.

Large community. With over 5 million registered members and 250,000 unique users every day, the Zone provides members with worthy opponents from all over the world. In addition, the Zone offers community features such as online forums, chats with developers and live chat coverage of major tournaments.

Zone Rating System. Since April 1998, the Zone offers an automatic rating system that allows game players to determine how they fare against others. The card and board games and "Age of Empires" were the first games with the Zone Rating System, and new games are always being added.

Tournaments and events. The MSN Gaming Zone hosts more than 600 tournaments a week for players with all interests and skill levels. The Zone also sponsors major tournaments complete with prizes and corporate sponsors, and these tournaments are open to all gamers playing on the Zone.

Affordable pricing. The Zone offers substantial content for free,** including card, board and puzzle games and matchmaking for popular retail games. Premium games provide free trials and carry nominal fees.

System Requirements:

To play card and board games on the Zone, users need the following components:

A PC with a 486/66 or higher microprocessor

Microsoft Windows 95 operating system or higher

8 MB of RAM

256-color Super VGA monitor

Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.02 or later or Netscape Communicator 4.0 or later

14.4Kbps modem or higher

Internet access

Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

Overview: To take advantage of player matchmaking for retail games on the Zone, users need the following additional components:

Each player needs to install the full retail version of the game (see the system requirements for individual games)

28.8Kbps modem or higher

To play premium games on the Zone, users need the following additional components:

PC with a Pentium 75MHz or higher microprocessor

Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 operating system or the Windows NT Workstation operating system version 4.0 or higher with Service Pack 3 or higher

16 MB of RAM

9.5 MB of available hard disk space (19 MB of additional space may be required for setup)

28.8Kbps modem or higher


Matchmaking for classic, parlor and retail games as well as for community features such as chat areas are free** to users. Premium games on the Zone carry a nominal daily or monthly fee for play after a one-time free trial.

* As of Oct. 29, 1998

** Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft, MSN, "Age of Empires," ZoneMatch, "Fighter Ace," "UltraCorps," "Asheron's Call," Windows, Windows NT, "Precision Racing," "Close Combat," "Hellbender," "Monster Truck Madness," "Urban Assault" and "Motocross Madness" are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Star Wars is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Outwars is a trademark of SingleTrac Studio, a GT Interactive company.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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