X06 - An Extensive Summary of Day 1

X06 - An Extensive Summary of Day 1 X06 - An Extensive Summary of Day 1

Microsoft has used X06 to announce a partnership with Peter Jackson to create two new interactive entertainment series for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live; new, exclusive "Halo Wars," "Splinter Cell," "Grand Theft Auto," "Bioshock," "Banjo Kazooie" and "DOOM" announcements and that an HD DVD version of Peter Jackson's "King Kong" is to be distributed with Xbox 360 HD DVD Player this fall.

Microsoft has opened its X06 event in Barcelona with a flurry of announcements:

- A landmark partnership announced between Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. The first series will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the Halo universe. The second series will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios will partner with Jackson and Walsh to establish Wingnut Interactive, a studio dedicated to the creation of world-class interactive entertainment.

- Halo Wars is an all-new real-time strategy game based on the legendary Halo universe and designed exclusively for Xbox 360 by Ensemble Studios, creators of the Age of Empires franchise.
- Rockstar and Take-Two announced they will provide Xbox 360 gamers with exclusive access to two downloadable, epic episodes of Grand Theft Auto IV via Xbox Live, each with hours of entirely new gameplay and available only on Xbox 360 just months after the release of the title.
- Ubisoft confirmed that the next Splinter Cell title, the next instalment in the series after Splinter Cell Double Agent, will be a console-exclusive on Xbox 360, a testament to the ability of Xbox 360 to deliver a complete experience no other console can match.
-2K Games confirmed that BioShock, a revolution in the genre that will forever change the expectations for first-person shooters, will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows next spring.
- Project Gotham Racing 4, the latest addition to the best-selling racing franchise from Bizarre Creations exclusively for Xbox 360, was unveiled. Project Gotham Racing 4 promises to continue the Project Gotham Racing pedigree of innovation by introducing exciting new experiences to racing fans worldwide.
- The beloved Banjo-Kazooie franchise will breathe new, high-definition life on Xbox 360 exclusively from famed developer Rare Ltd.; astonishing next-generation visuals and presentation reunite beloved characters Banjo, Kazooie and Gruntilda - among other fan favourites - with their sharp wit and hilarious sense of humour.
- Microsoft Game Studios announced its highly anticipated new massively multiplayer online game, Marvel Universe Online for Xbox 360 and the Windows Vista operating system, developed by industry luminaries Cryptic Studios, creators of the smash hit City of Heroes.
- Two additions to Xbox Live Arcade were announced: the first-person shooter that pioneered the network-gaming era, DOOM, from acclaimed developer id Software and Activision, is available today for download via Xbox Live Arcade. The game includes the original four-episode, single-player game, four-player split screen (cooperative and deathmatch) and four-player cooperative and deathmatch over Xbox Live. Also coming to Xbox Live Arcade soon is Sensible World of Soccer from Codemasters. Based on the classic 1994 Amiga title, Sensible World of Soccer will let gamers choose between the original graphics or an updated, high-resolution look and feel - while still capturing the original's entire world of football.
- Arriving at retailers in North America, the U.K, France and Germany in mid-November 2006, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player will retail for USD 199.99 in North America (estimated retail price) and €199.99/£129.99 (estimated retail price)* in the U.K., France and Germany. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player comes with the Universal Pictures' blockbuster film Peter Jackson's King Kong on HD DVD (for a limited time) and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

New details regarding the exclusive, epic episodic content for the upcoming and highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV from Rockstar and Take-Two were also revealed; Rockstar Games will offer two downloadable episodes, each with hours of entirely new gameplay, extending the experience of an already immense game. Both chapters will be exclusive and available only to Xbox 360 gamers via Xbox Live. Grand Theft Auto IV will be available to Xbox 360 gamers on its first day of availability: Oct. 16, 2007, in North America and Oct. 19, 2007, in Europe. Release dates for the two downloadable episodes are not yet announced.

Xbox Live Arcade made a surprise unveiling today of one of the greatest games of the 3-D era: DOOM (id Software) is now available for download for 800 points. The game brings legendary DOOM mayhem to gamers, who for the first time ever can relive the classic demon-blasting fragfest in both single-player and two-to-four player co-operative and deathmatch modes over Xbox Live. Also a new, multititle relationship with Codemasters was announced, with the first title being the classic, fast-action soccer game, Sensible World of Soccer.

Xbox Live is a thriving online game community, connecting more than 3 million members across nearly 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of social games, as well as on-demand game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, and music and movie content. With more than 10 million downloads to date and nearly 100 independent, classic and original development titles available by next summer, Xbox Live Arcade is a fast-growing phenomenon.

Most Affordable Way for Xbox 360 Owners to Jump Into the Next-Generation of DVD

At X06, exciting details about the highly anticipated Xbox 360 HD DVD Player were also revealed. Available in mid-November 2006 in North America for USD 199.99 (estimated retail price)*, in the U.K., France and Germany for €199.99 (£129.99) (estimated retail price)* and other territories in 2007, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player comes with the Universal Pictures blockbuster film Peter Jackson's King Kong on HD DVD (for a limited time) and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote. Users can just add Xbox 360 HD DVD Player to Xbox 360 to create the ultimate home-theatre experience.

The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player offers up to six times higher resolution than DVD, and as part of the Autumn 2006 console update all Xbox 360 consoles will have the ability to output native resolution 1080p games and movies. Users can enjoy blockbuster HD DVD releases, with more than 150 titles available by the holidays from major movie studios including HBO, Paramount Pictures, StudioCanal, Universal Studios, New Line Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

From leading U.K.-based developer Rare and Microsoft Game Studios comes Viva Piñata, an original game concept and the latest innovative gaming experience for gamers of all ages and types. Viva Piñata invites gamers to create an immersive world where living piñatas inhabit an ever-changing environment. Viva Pinata is scheduled to be available this holiday.

Underlining the Xbox 360 platform strength, Microsoft and Ubisoft today confirmed that Assassin's Creed, the eagerly anticipated action title set in medieval times, is also coming to Xbox 360 day and date with the game's release on other platforms. Assassin's Creed is a next-generation action-adventure/stealth title from the highly talented and critically acclaimed team that brought gamers Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Assassin's Creed will place gamers in the role of a ruthless and skilled Assassin as he tracks his victims through the historical era known as the Crusades.
Last week at the Tokyo Game Show in Japan, Lost Odyssey wowed audiences with its incredible graphic style and epic storyline. From famed Japanese developer Hironobu Sakaguchi, "Lost Odyssey" will be shipped in Japan in 2007, and in the U.S. and Europe at a later date.

Few games have generated more interest than BioShock (2K Games) in the past year, and Microsoft confirmed that the highly anticipated first-person shooter will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows when it launches in spring 2007.
Looking into the coming year, X06 showcased a montage video trailer demonstrating the power and versatility of the Xbox 360 platform, promising gamers a choice of titles and genres coming this spring season, including the Microsoft Game Studios titles Crackdown (Real Time Worlds), Too Human (Silicon Knights), Mass Effect (BioWare Corp.), and Forza Motorsport 2 (Turn 10). In addition to these titles from Microsoft Game Studios, games from today's leading publishers round out what is already a robust library of offerings for the Xbox 360 platform, including John Woo Presents Stranglehold (Midway), Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Capcom) and Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Konami).

Microsoft also provided attendees with an update on Games for Windows and announced several exciting new Games for Windows titles, including Bioshock and Marvel Universe Online. Starting this September with LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy from LucasArts and Company of Heroes from THQ, games will carry the Games for Windows branding after meeting a set of technical guidelines designed to provide consumers with a consistent, reliable gaming experience on Windows XP and Windows Vista. The guidelines include easier game installation, improved reliability and support for key Windows Vista features such as the Games Explorer and Parental Controls. They will also support wide-screen gaming, will launch from within Windows Media Center, be compatible with 64-bit consumer versions of Windows, and will support the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows (for games that enable gamepads).

Attendees were given a glimpse of the exciting upcoming Games for Windows titles including Hellgate: London (NAMCO BANDAI Games), Rail Simulator (Electronic Arts) and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos/Funcom), as well as Microsoft Game Studios titles Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, Alan Wake, Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania, Flight Simulator X, Shadowrun, Halo 2 for Windows Vista and the newly named Marvel Universe Online, a massively multiplayer online game for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista from Cryptic Studios.