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November 22, 2006

2K Sports Announces College Hoops 2K7 Now Available

NEW YORK, NY – November 22, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), proudly announced today that College Hoops 2K7 for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft is now available in stores across North America. The #1 rated college basketball simulation series for four-straight years*, College Hoops 2K7 continues the tradition of bringing the most authentic and thrilling college basketball experience anywhere.

“The hard work and incredible talent of our College Hoops team has produced our greatest college basketball game to date,” stated Greg Thomas, President of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “There are so many unique details in college basketball – the tradition, the rivalries, the Cinderella stories – that make it one of the most complex sports video games. The College Hoops 2K7 team has complemented the outstanding gameplay with innovative features and authentic details, creating our most comprehensive college basketball title ever.”

Featuring over 200 fight songs to enhance the overall college atmosphere, College Hoops 2K7 also introduces the unique Chant Creator, allowing gamers to construct over 20 million chant combinations. Focusing on the importance of team chemistry, College Hoops 2K7 debuts Team Unity where players are encouraged to focus on team dynamics of defense, setting up plays, and the fundamentals of passing to maximize the potential of each squad. Commentators Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg, and their trademark colorful personalities, make a triumphant return to College Hoops 2K7, hosting College Hoops Tonight, a brand-new studio show discussing topics such as Games of the Week, Player of the Week, Coach on the Hot Seat, and Big Game Preview. Legacy Mode also boasts tournament bracketology, thousands of NCAA and school records, the post-season NIT, and so much more.

Featuring J.J. Redick, former star player for the Duke University Blue Devils on the cover, College Hoops 2K7 is rated E for Everyone and is available now for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft for $59.99 and $19.99, respectively. College Hoops 2K7 will be available in December for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and this winter for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.



For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

* According to GameRankings.com average scores of 2002-2006 college basketball simulation video games.

HARLEY-DAVIDSONR: RACE TO THE RALLY ROARS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

Minneapolis, MN – November 21, 2006 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI ), is giving gamers the chance to stop dreaming and start riding in Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Charge out on the highways and bi-ways across America on fully-upgradeable classic and late-model Harley-Davidson® motorcycles while facing outrageous road challenges.

“Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally offers gamers the chance to ride some of the most recognizable motorcycles in the world in this fast-paced, open-road adventure,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Players experience the thrill of saddling up an American icon and the camaraderie of its brotherhood from their living room.”

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally takes gamers from coast to coast across America exploring classic rides centric to “Harley-Davidson” and the biker lifestyle such as Big Sur, historic Route 66, and the Badlands . Each of the 20 authentic Harley-Davidson® motorcycles including the Dyna®, Softail®, Touring®, and Sportster® are fully customizable and upgradeable with licensed parts and accessories, so there are thousands of possibilities on which to perform the gravity-defying jumps, and high-speed turbo boosts in this game. Plus, it features a soundtrack that captures the attitude of “Harley-Davidson” with tracks by George Thorogood, Heart, Poison, Great White and more.

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally is available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The PC version will be available on November 28 for a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game has been rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB.

About Activision, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $1.47 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006 .

Activision maintains operations in the U.S. , Canada , the United Kingdom , France , Germany , Italy , Japan , Australia , Scandinavia , Spain , the Netherlands and South Korea . More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.

Latest Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Gaming News

Two weeks ago, on Tuesday, November 7, Peter Moore took the stage at the BMO Capital Markets – Interactive Entertainment Conference in New York, where he confirmed Microsoft’s continuous force in the interactive entertainment industry and shared exciting news about truly breakthrough experiences that are coming to Xbox 360 this month.

As we near the anniversary of the Xbox 360 launch, we are on track to have sold 10 million units by holiday, and have delivered on the plan to offer a console that revolves around “you” - your choices, your friends, and your entertainment. In New York, we outlined our new one-stop digital marketplace for high definition content in addition to our full lineup of 160 game titles by holiday 2006. Add to that a suite of accessories that enable gamers to customize their own entertainment experience to fit their lifestyle; Xbox 360 is the console of choice for gamers who want to have choice.

What they want, when they want it

Beginning November 22, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console to bring standard and high definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution directly to consumers. We announced agreements with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to bring an initial lineup of more than 1,000 hours of hit TV shows and movies to Xbox 360 owners by the end of 2006.

The current lineup of content includes but is not limited to:

o “Robot Chicken” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” from Adult Swim

o “CSI,” “Survivor” and “Star Trek” from CBS

o Emmy and Peabody award-winning “South Park” and “Chappelle’s Show” from COMEDY CENTRAL

o “The Real World” and “Pimp My Ride” from MTV

o “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and ”SpongeBob SquarePants” from Nickelodeon

o “Skyland” and “The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival” from Nicktoons Network

o “M:i:III,” “Nacho Libre” and “Jackass: The Movie” from Paramount Pictures

o “Carpocalypse” and “Raising the Roofs” from Spike TV

o “Race Rewind” provided by NASCAR.COM

o Select episodes of the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and the “UFC: All Access” shows from the UFC

o “Breaking Bonaduce” and “Hogan Knows Best” from VH1

o “The Matrix,” “Superman Returns” and “Batman Forever” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Making it their own experience

This holiday season nothing pairs with the library of Xbox 360 entertainment experiences quite like our accessory lineup. With the Xbox 360 wireless Headset, Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, or the Xbox Live Vision Camera gamers can choose how to create their own experience, whether they want the most realistic race they’ve ever driven, or the most realistic movie they’ve ever seen.

On November 7, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, packaged with Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” and the universal media remote, began shipping to North American retailers and is making its way to store shelves. This accessory allows Xbox 360 owners to experience “the look and sound of perfect” with such films as “Serenity,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Batman Begins.”

Gamers can get the most mileage out of their accessories with the Xbox 360 Gaming Receiver for Windows, which lets the Wireless Controller, Wireless Headset and Wireless Racing Wheel work on the Windows PC. For those who want to build their ultimate interactive entertainment system, the best accessories, the most games, and the greatest experiences are on Xbox 360.

Revolving around great games

With accessories that customize gameplay, to a colossal game library that brings action, excitement and thrills, this holiday season we are set to bring forth a myriad of fun from friendly Piñatas to battles of epic proportions to bite-size action, pick up and play fun.

Earlier this month, “Gears of War” (Epic Games) emerged to a successful – and enormous – launch, expected to sell more than one million copies worldwide this holiday season, setting a new mark for the fastest-selling original game for Xbox. The frenzy continues this Sunday November 12th, “Emergence Day,” with online tournaments, including a 24-hour marathon event, bringing gamers more of the hyper-realistic and intense combat graphics and immersive beauty of the cinematic story that has sparked such a furor among consumers. The review scores are pouring in and this is the highest rated next-gen game to date with multiple perfect scores from around the world.

“Gears of War” (Epic Games) is just the beginning of the holiday excitement. “Viva Piñata” (Rare) bursts onto store shelves with its launch on November 9. With more than 60 piñata species to attract to your garden and engaging characters to interact with, Viva Piñata is sure to be the game played by kids of all ages on the Xbox 360. Brand momentum continues to build, following the success of the Saturday morning TV show, “Viva Piñata,” which airs on 4Kids TV (FOX) -- having quickly become a Saturday morning “must watch” for many kids. Licensing efforts are also well underway with the recent partnership announced with Playmates as the master toy licensee and American Greetings to create a social expressions line of products (greeting cards, gift wrap, etc.)

This month has also brought great titles to store shelves including: “Need for Speed Carbon” (EA) which hit November 1, “Call of Duty 3” (Activision) and “Tony Hawk’s Project 8” (Activision) were released November 7. The thrills don’t stop there, later this month we will also see: “WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007” (THQ) on November 14, “Superman Returns: The Videogame” (EA) on November 20 and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas” (Ubisoft) on November 28. For a full list of upcoming titles check out: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/calendar.aspx?WT.svl=nav

For gamers looking for a quick gaming fix, Xbox Live Arcade has a diverse library with more than 40 independent, original development and classic retro titles slated to be on the service by end of year which has driven more than 12 million game downloads to date. Not to mention, next year Atari fans can revisit old favorites like “Centipede/Millipede,” “Battlezone,” “Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe,” “Missile Command,” “Tempest and Warlords” - with high-definition graphics, enhanced sound, leaderboard, multiplayer and a variety of achievements.

While on the casual games front, Microsoft Casual Games (MCG) is now touching 120 million players around the globe every month. MCG is the go-to provider of casual arcade-style gaming offering these 120 million players more than 400 titles across MSN Games, Windows Live Messenger, XP “in box” operating system games and Xbox Live Arcade.

Windows Vista went gold on November 8, whetting the appetite of Windows gamers. The first available DirectX 10 hardware was also announced by NVIDIA on November 8, making the countdown to Windows Vista truly tangible for gamers around the world.

What the numbers say

This holiday, we will have more than 160 high definition titles available for Xbox 360. October’s NPD data, the industry standard for tracking US momentum and market share, continues to illustrate the breadth and depth of the console’s services and features.

o Our record setting software attach rate is soaring at 5.2 games per console, which reflects the enthusiastic consumer response to the depth and breadth of our software library keeping the record for this period in the lifecycle.

o With our lineup of accessories it is clear why the Xbox 360 accessory attach rate rose this month to 3.0, setting another record for this stage in the lifecycle.

“Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent,” (Ubisoft) released last month, has soared its way to the top of the charts. Since its debut, gamers have been carefully living the life of double agent Sam Fisher and his international espionage adventures, making the title # 2 across all consoles on the U.S. sales chart.

Top Five Selling Xbox 360 Titles for October:

1) “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent” (Ubisoft)

2) “Tiger Woods 2007” (EA)

3) “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” (Activision)

4) “Madden 2007” (EA)

5) “NBA 2K7” (Take-Two)

The weather may be cooling down, but we are just warming up. Stay tuned as we gear up to spread a little interactive entertainment cheer across the globe in December!

November 11, 2006

IN HONOR OF VETERANS DAY, KUMA RELEASES PLAYABLE RECREATION OF ONE OF THE WWII¹S MOST SIGNIFICANT BATTLES

New York (November 10, 2006) – This Veteran’s day, Kuma Reality Games honors America’s fighting men and women, both past and present, with the release of “Battle of the Bulge,” an all-new multiplayer “game-isode” that coincides with the November 10 episode of ‘Shootout!’ on The History Channel®. Kuma Games (www.kumagames.com) is also hosting two multiplayer events this weekend, inviting gamers to join the “Prize Giveaway” server for the opportunity to play and win. Players can participate in two team-based, red-on-blue multiplayer games, where the gamer with the highest score from each team wins, scoring a DVD of ‘WWII: The Pacific’ from The History Channel.

The first episode of “Battle of the Bulge” takes players back to December 16, 1944, re-creating the opening of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. It accompanies the episode airing tonight on The History Channel where a lightly-armed team of 18 Intelligence and Reconnaissance soldiers must fend off a surprise attack by hundreds of Hitler’s soldiers in the village of Lanzareth. The tiny platoon courageously holds their position, killing over 500 German troops before running out of ammunition and being captured. Subsequent episodes –“Foxhole” and “Scout”– will be released Friday, November 17th and Friday, November 24th respectively.

Kuma’s online games released simultaneously with episodes of ‘Shootout!’ allow viewers and gamers the opportunity to watch the show and then “live” the historical event by playing a 3D game re-creation. Viewers of the show can log onto www.History.com or www.KumaGames.com and download the online game for free immediately after each episode airs. Kuma is expanding on this extraordinary “watch and play” experience by bringing together the gaming community to participate in exciting multiplayer events.

“Shootout!” examines, dissects, and re-creates some of the most famous battles in history, from the Wild West to Guadalcanal to Fallujah. Using heavy 3D CGI animation sequences, players can experience the thick of battle from the point of view of the historical participants themselves.

Tune in to “Shooutout!: Battle of the Bulge” Friday, November 10 at 8:00pmET/PT on The History Channel, and play the re-creation of the episode online at www.history.com or www.KumaGames.com.

Be a part of Kuma’s Veteran’s Day multiplayer events on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12 from 4:00-5:00pmET at www.KumaGames.com.


About Kuma

KUMA, LLC., is the industry leader in the new market for Episodic Video Games – intense and powerful, up-to-the-minute 3D game experiences delivered to PCs in weekly episodes. Using groundbreaking technology, Kuma’s free games are inspired by just-released TV shows or films, real world news events, and pop culture happenings. The episodic games are a thoroughly unique user experience and present distinct marketing advantages for TV partners, advertisers, content owners and distributors. Kuma has extensive experience in developing accurate re-creations of military events. For over two years, Kuma\War has expanded the boundaries of news reporting through accurate and timely re-creations of real-world military events through its episodic game series KUMA\WAR, now in its 79th episode. KUMA\WAR is widely recognized for its accuracy and immersiveness, and is used by the US ARMY for training purposes.

Kuma Reality Games, headquartered in New York, New York, is a privately held company.

About The History Channel

The History Channel® is one of the leading cable television networks featuring compelling original, nonfiction specials and series that bring history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network provides an inviting place where people experience history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the future. The History Channel has earned three Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy® Awards, ten News and Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more than 90 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at www.History.com.

November 10, 2006

Wii Will Rock You

The Wii arrived this morning and the household was filled with joy. Nina immediately jumped in the box that it came in.
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Nintendo sent me a bunch of stuff, including an extra controller set, Zelda, and Excite Truck. Here's the package laid out on the unfinished wood floor of my apartment.
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First, the facts. The Wii will be available November 19, 2006 at an MSRP of $249. I've heard a lot about people being forced to buy bundles and that's just the stores forcing you to buy extra crap. It comes with on Wii Remote controller, one Nunchuk controller, Wii Sports (some cool games that will get you into the "swing" of things), sensor bar, power cord and standard composite cable. If you want component or S-video you'll have to buy that separately.
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The box itself is a sleek little thing with a shiny plastic finish. It's about 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and less than two inches thick. It weighs less than 3 lbs.
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There's an external power supply that isn't too big. It can be installed either horizontally or vertically.
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A self-loading media bay (it sucks the disc out of your hand) plays single or double layered 12 cm optical discs for Wii and 8 cm Nintendo GameCube discs. There's a bay for SD memory which is probably there so you can show photos on your TV or to expand the 512 MB of internal flash memory.
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There are also four ports for Nintendo GameCube controllers and two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards.
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It's a nice piece of hardware. It's got built in Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports and a PowerPC CPU made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed by Nintendo and IBM.

The key to the whole thing is the sensor bar, which can be placed above or below the TV screen. It's unobtrusive when installed, and then a long cord runs down to the Wii console.
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The controller is pretty special. The Wii Remote looks like a TV remote control so there's nothing really special in its looks. Up to 4 Wii Remotes can be connected at once using Bluetooth. The wireless signal can be detected within 10 meters of the console. Both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk have motion sensors. The Wii Remote has a speaker in it, which is pretty cool because then you can hear when you hit the ball with it for example.
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So now we get to the good part. I played some Wii Sports and had a great time. It takes a little while to get the hang of how to swing the controller for the best effect. I suggest using your wrist and elbow more than your shoulder. It's really fun to swing at a tennis ball or a baseball. The buttons are usually modifiers, like a curveball or a screwball, and the throwing motion with the controller throws the ball. It forces you to be just a little active. I wonder if this may be a turnoff to hardcore gamers who literally want to sit there and just push buttons. I don't know though, I'm a hardcore gamer and I got a real kick out of swinging the controller. I can't wait to play Zelda and Excite Truck.

I nicknamed my Wii The Lil Boy. Here you can see why.
wii_lilboy.jpg

I'm sure I'll be writing more about Lil Boy in the coming days and weeks as more games come rolling in. So far this is tremendous fun. I think that this could revolutionize gaming. While others focus on better graphics and audio, Nintendo focuses on the core aspect of gaming, doing something fun. Wii is fun and it gets you to move a little bit so it'll keep you from melting into the couch. I think that this is the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.

The Wii is Here! The Wii is Here!

My Wii just arrived from Nintendo. I'm totally psyched to start playing it. It came with the remote and the nunchuk controller as well as Zelda and Excite Truck. I've played some games on it before so I know what the controls are like in general, but I can't wait to connect this thing and play with it...all...day.

November 7, 2006

RAZER™ REDEFINES THE STANDARDS IN GAMING PERIPHERALS WITH THE NEW TARANTULA KEYBOARD

November 6, 2006 – Los Angeles – Razer™, a leading manufacturer of high-end precision gaming peripherals, has announced the availability of the Tarantula™, a hi-tech gaming keyboard, at Circuit City stores everywhere. Currently available now in Circuit City for a price of $99.99, the Tarantula will also be sold at CompUSA and major online retailers (Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com, Buy.com, GoGamer.com and others) starting in mid-November.

“Razer is psyched to add the Tarantula to their growing list of quality gaming gear,” said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. “I honestly believe the Tarantula to be the ‘smartest’ keyboard ever designed and Razer fans will not be disappointed with the Tarantula’s sleek look and fully customizable features, which will empower competitive gamers with seamless control and unparalleled flexibility.”

Designed and engineered from the ground up by the Razer team, the Tarantula is the first definitive gaming keyboard created for gamers, by gamers, that has several innovative features, including:

* 10 key Anti-Ghosting capability to allow for multiple key binds and prevent key jamming when multiple keys are simultaneously pressed

* Optimized Hyperesponse™ Gaming Keytop for reduced key latency and maximum response time

* Headphone-out and microphone-in jacks for convenient access and two USB Ports for convenient peripheral plug-ins
* 10 additional Macro keys with extra symbol keys included
* 95 programmable keys on the Razer Tarantula allow configuration of customized keystrokes and macro commands for optimal control and flexibility

· Keys can be programmed without drivers and up to five different gaming profiles which can be stored on the keyboard itself which makes moving from one tournament to another easy. The onboard memory capability powered by Razer Synapse™, which was first featured in the multi-award winning Razer Copperhead™ gaming mouse.

* Full Multi-media center keys to control media programs like Windows Media Player

· Ambient illumination light source runs underneath the keys, enabling the keys to be adequately lit for gaming in low or no light conditions

About Razer:
Razer is the world’s leading brand in high-end computer gaming peripherals. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Razer enjoys an extensive distribution worldwide in all major countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East. Razer designs, engineers and markets cutting-edge gaming peripherals that provide professional computer gamers with the competitive edge through a combination of technology, innovation and design. Razer’s research and development team collaborates with leading professional gamers to develop proprietary technology for next-generation gaming peripherals. Razer’s superiority in gaming peripherals stems from its ability to understand and conceptualize peripherals that gamers need and thereafter bring the product from drawing board to retail shelves.

Each Razer peripheral bears the invisible signature of hundreds of professional gamers, gaming enthusiasts and engineers and each Razer gaming product is built from single components; pieced and assembled with care and precision to optimize gameplay for all professional gamers worldwide. Engineered to near perfection, Razer’s reputation of being the leaders in gaming technology is embodied in every single Razer product.

For more information on Razer, log onto www.razerzone.com.

Hunker Down and Pray for Daylight: “Gears of War” Emerges Today to Storm Retailers Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 7, 2006 — Hailed as the most-anticipated video game launch of 2006 and punctuated by incredible demand from gamers, “Gears of War” begins appearing in the first retail outlets today, with continued rollout to retailers worldwide. Microsoft Corp. forecasts that “Gears of War,” an exclusive title for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system, is expected to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide this holiday season, setting a new mark for the fastest-selling original game for Xbox®. Starting now, gamers can run for cover and crush the enemy on their own, or take the season’s hottest action title online via Xbox Live®, the world’s largest online gaming and entertainment network, which boasts 4 million members.

“Gears of War,” developed by Epic Games Inc. and published by Microsoft Game Studios, made its debut to great fanfare at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2005 and has captured the gaze of industry watchers and fans ever since. The intense, genre-defining game thrusts players into humankind’s epic battle for survival against a nightmarish race of creatures known as the Locust Horde. With its combination of cinematic, visceral gameplay, dramatic storytelling and intense action, and with single-player and multiplayer online play via Xbox Live, “Gears of War” is a seminal title for Xbox 360, providing one of the best next-generation interactive entertainment experiences today.

“‘Gears of War’ is a title we know will deliver on all of its promise, and we expect the game to reach 1 million copies faster than any new titles for Xbox,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday is an extremely important one for the entire industry, and Xbox 360 will offer the world unparalleled experiences available only on this console. We’ve put an enormous emphasis on bringing new and exciting titles to market, and ‘Gears of War’ is a key example of Microsoft’s commitment to developing original and immersive titles for gamers everywhere.”

Anticipation for the game’s launch today has been growing for several months. Microsoft’s “Match Made in Hell” promotion, a series of pre-release celebrations held throughout October, provided fans with their first opportunity to play the game before it reached store shelves. Headlined by a celebrity launch party in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery , the “Match Made in Hell” events were besieged by anxious gamers, desperate for their first opportunity to play the game. “Gears of War” has received several highly coveted awards, including the Game Critics Awards’ Best Console Game and Best Action Game of E3 2006, IGN’s E3 2005 Best Xbox 360 Action Game, and a GameSpot’s E3 2006 People’s Choice Award, and has already garnered praise in early reviews, earning a perfect 10 out of 10 score from Official Xbox Magazine and a perfect 5 out of 5 score from G4 TV’s X-Play; that episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. EST.

“The reception that ‘Gears of War’ has received has been tremendous,” said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for “Gears of War” at Epic Games. “Designing ‘Gears of War’ has been a labor of love, and we’ve poured everything we have into the title. We expect this game to be huge, and it’s exhilarating to see that people are as excited about ‘Gears of War’ as we are.”

“We’ve seen tremendous excitement and demand for ‘Gears of War,’ as Xbox 360 fans packed our stores across the country during our special after-hours events for their first chance to play the game,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of Merchandising at GameStop Corp. “‘Gears of War’ is hands down one of the most anticipated games this holiday, and the pre-order numbers we’ve received are astounding and second only to ‘Halo® 2’ for the Xbox platform.”

“Gears of War” from Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios is a third-person tactical action/horror game available exclusively on Xbox 360. It is available now at select retailers and will be available widely beginning Nov. 12, 2006, in the U.S. for the estimated retail price of $59.99, or $69.99 for a special Limited Collector’s Edition, which will include a collectible embossed metal box, the “Destroyed Beauty” hardbound art book, and a bonus DVD that features the making of “Gears of War,” the “Art of Gears of War” trailer and the MTV program “Gears of War: The Race to E3.”

Microsoft and Epic’s celebration of the game’s release continues on Nov. 12, with a full slate of activities scheduled on Xbox Live, including a 24-hour leader board tournament for online multiplayer matches, hourly sweepstakes drawings offering the chance to win one of several Samsung HT-P29 Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound systems, Game with Fame sessions with “Gears of War” fans Megadeth and members of the Epic development team, and much more. A full list of scheduled events can be found at http://www.xbox.com. In addition, due to the popularity of the highly rated MTV “Gears of War: The Race to E3” broadcast, MTV will feature its follow-up to the program, “Gears of War: The Race to Launch,” which follows the birth of the game through the eyes of eager fans waiting for its release and the real-life characters that created it; the program will air on MTV Nov. 13 at 8:30 p.m. and on MTV2 at 9:30 p.m. EST/MST/PST.

About Epic Games

Epic Games Inc., based in Raleigh , NC and established in 1991, is a developer of cutting-edge computer and video games. The company is best known as the creator of hit PC 3D action games Unreal and Unreal Tournament, both award-winning blockbuster hits having each sold more than one million copies. Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including, 2002 Console Game of the Year winner, “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™” by Ubi Soft; PC Gamer’s 2000 Game of the Year, “Deus Ex” from Ion Storm/Eidos; “America’s Army: Special Forces,” by the United States Army, and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (PC) by Electronic Arts. Additional information can be obtained through Epic’s Web site at http://www.epicgames.com/.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®;” Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport™”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in 37 countries by the end of this year. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

November 2, 2006

Nintendo Hosts Cross-Country Launch Events to Satisfy Consumer Demand for Wii

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With just 17 days until the worldwide launch of the Wii(TM) game console in the Americas, Nintendo is throwing big bashes to celebrate the momentous occasion. From New York to Los Angeles and untold places in between, shoppers won't have to wait long to be the first to buy Nintendo's revolutionary new Wii video game console when it goes on sale at the stroke of midnight the morning of Sunday, Nov. 19. However, video game fans will have to get in line fast, as demand is high for this season's hot holiday product.
Toys "R" Us Times Square in Manhattan and GameStop at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles will host official Nintendo midnight launch events to satiate rabid fans who can't wait to get their hands on Wii. The events will feature live music and entertainment, fun, games, special guests from Nintendo -- and a countdown to the moment that will change the way video games are played forever. Other retailers nationwide are expected to hold their own midnight launch events, so consumers should check with their local retail stores that sell video games.
"Who'll be the first person to line up?" asks George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Will it be a Zelda fan in New York or a soccer mom in Los Angeles? We're going to make sure these events help everyone feed off one another's energy and enthusiasm."
"Toys 'R' Us Times Square will be the first store in the United States where customers can both experience, and purchase Wii, Nintendo's new revolution in gaming," says Ron Boire, President, Toys "R" Us, U.S. "As a family oriented store, we are thrilled with the potential of the Wii system to bring parents and kids closer together. There is no better place to launch this truly innovative gaming console than The World's Greatest Toy Store."
"Just like our retail outlets, Wii has something for every kind of gamer," says Steve Morgan, President, GameStop Corp. "As the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, we're ready to kick off the celebration at midnight on Nov. 19th, and help show the world a new way to play."

Wii launches Nov. 19 in the Americas at an MSRP of $249.99. Its unequaled Wii Remote lets players control the action on their TV screens through the motion of the controller itself. It's designed for young and old, novices and experts. For more information about Wii, visit www.wii.com.

EA SPORTS FIFA SOCCER 07 ON XBOX 360 in stores now worldwide

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – November 1, 2006 – FIFA Soccer 07 on the Xbox 360™ videogame system from Microsoft heralds the start of the next generation of soccer gaming and fans now have the opportunity to experience the dynamic new EA SPORTS™ engine and all-new gameplay after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped FIFA Soccer 07 on Xbox 360 to stores throughout North America and Europe, making it available to fans worldwide.

FIFA Soccer 07 on the Xbox 360 moves away from the traditional animation-based game engine and now enables raw physics and data to drive the action, creating true-to-life movement and the most advanced visuals seen in a soccer game. Player characteristics are based on brand-new traits and twice the number of attributes, so you won't see two players moving in exactly the same way. Instead they look and behave like the athletes we see gracing the pitch week-in, week-out.

Improved fundamental controls that are easy to pick-up-and-play but difficult to master and enhanced AI enable you to truly enjoy the virtual recreation of the beautiful game. The ball and players react to your slightest touch with an unprecedented level of responsiveness. For the first time ever the ball is alive with its own independent physics, resulting in truly unpredictable gameplay. Now any type of pass or shot is possible and goals will feel natural and unique.

The FIFA Soccer 07 official website located at www.FIFA07.ea.com celebrates the beautiful game with the most comprehensive combination of real life and virtual interactive soccer content, including real world soccer news, fixtures, results, tables, detailed squad stats and 1,000’s of individual player profiles. Take the EA SPORTS online quiz to test your soccer knowledge against fans from around the world. The FIFA Soccer 07 official website is customizable for 15 international markets. It features an overview of the videogame’s features, gameplay videos of the world’s superstars, producer blogs and interviews, the game’s official soundtrack and the ability to download customizable wallpapers.

FIFA Soccer 07 offers never-before-experienced real-time player analysis and pulls together all the facts at the final whistle to accurately rate the best player in the park and award him the ultimate accolade – Man of the Match. The rich feature depth available on FIFA Soccer 07 is complete with Manager Mode and an all-new player evolution system that enables you to develop world-class players, FIFA Soccer 07 Lounge for the ultimate in multiplayer sessions, and a Challenge mode that offers 85 scenarios to test even the most hard-core gamer.

FIFA Soccer 07 on the Xbox 360 also includes comprehensive online features that streams up-to-the-minute real-world game results via real-time, weekly podcasts and news ticker. Nowhere else will soccer fans find such a comprehensive destination for soccer stats, information and real-world news available in five languages. While online, FIFA Soccer 07 will enable four friends to play together on one console against four of their rivals sharing another console for the ultimate in bragging rights.

The next generation version of FIFA Soccer 07 is available worldwide exclusively on the Xbox 360 system from Microsoft. FIFA Soccer 07 is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and 3+ by PEGI in Europe . Learn more about the game at http://fifa07.ea.com

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