Windows Vista Ushers in New Era of Gameplay
LAS VEGAS â Jan. 7, 2007 â Kicking off the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a bang, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled revolutionary games, technologies and partner support for the first-class gaming platform, Windows Vistaâ¢.
CES attendees will get hands-on experience with 15 of the hottest Games for WindowsÂ® titles, including some of the first games to deliver stunning graphics and gameplay through MicrosoftÂ® DirectXÂ® 10 that will challenge any game for superiority in visual fidelity: âCrysisâ¢â (EA Partners/Crytek) and âAge of Conan: Hyborian Adventuresâ (Eidos Interactive Ltd./Funcom). Gamers will also experience âShadowrunâ¢â from Microsoft Game Studios, the first of many titles that will bring the Live games and entertainment network on Windows Vista for true cross-platform gameplay.
In addition, during the CES keynote address, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on the Xbox 360â¢ video game and entertainment system for a cross-platform game challenge with âUNOÂ®â (Mattel Inc.) â one of the many new upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista.
Connecting Windows Vista and Xbox 360
Delivering on a vision that Microsoft presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Microsoft Game Studiosâ âShadowrunâ and Mattelâs âUNOâ are part of the first wave of Live titles that bring the benefits of Xbox LiveÂ® to gamers on Windows Vista, including an active community of nearly 5 million gamers, a single identity for each gamer across Windows and Xbox 360, as well as Achievements, which redefine what it means to conquer a game and share accomplishments with friends. The Live gaming and entertainment network will enable gamers to play and communicate online across both of Microsoftâs gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to play and connect in new, exciting ways. In addition, âHaloÂ® 2â for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed âHalo 2â campaign â a first for any âHaloâ title on any platform.
Optimized Casual Games for Windows Vista
Puzzle-playing, fun-loving casual game players also will benefit from Windows Vista-optimized gameplay, with new titles available on MSNÂ® Games (http://games.msn.com/en/vistagames). Bringing realistically detailed graphics and enriched gameplay features to casual players, the downloadable Windows Vista-based titles will be launched in conjunction with the new operating system in late January. The feature-length games include updated versions of the popular puzzlers â7 Wonders of the Ancient World for Windows Vistaâ (Mumbo Jumbo) and âLuxor 2 for Windows Vistaâ (Mumbo Jumbo); the all-new action and adventure game âBliss Island for Windows Vistaâ (Codemasters); the crystal-collecting, quick-shooting fun of âCrystal Quest for Windows Vistaâ (Codemasters); âSpinword for Windows Vistaâ (Slam Games), a brainteaser combining word puzzles and arcade action; the gem-filled matching puzzle âJewel QuestÂ® 2â (iWin); and the updated and graphically enhanced action adventure âDarwinia for Windows Vistaâ (Introversion). In addition, the ever popular âGeometry Wars: Retro Evolvedâ (Bizarre Creations) will be making its debut on the PC. Requiring fast thinking and an even faster trigger finger, the PC version of this retro-inspired title will, along with most Windows Vista-optimized titles, support gameplay with both the keyboard and the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows.
Windows Vista itself caters to the casual game player. Updated versions of game classics such as âMinesweeper,â âFreeCellâ and âSolitaire,â as well as all-new titles such as âChess Titans,â âMahjong Titansâ and the family-friendly adventure game âPurble Place,â will be included with Windows Vista from the start and will be easy to discover by way of the new Windows Vista Games Explorer.
Games for Windows Portfolio
Taking advantage of the new operating systemâs revolutionary technology and more user-friendly gaming features, the diverse Games for Windows portfolio of titles includes something for everyone, from the most hard-core enthusiast to casual players. Games such as âCrysisâ (EA Partners/Crytek) and âAge of Conan: Hyborian Adventuresâ (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) exploit the DirectX 10 technology in Windows Vista with vivid new levels of graphical detail and depth, while the highly anticipated titles âShadowrunâ (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio) and âHalo 2â (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will be the first to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360.
The Games for Windows portfolio includes the following titles:
Â· âAge of Conan: Hyborian Adventuresâ (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)
Â· âAge of EmpiresÂ® III: The Warchiefsâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)
Â· âAlan Wakeâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)
Â· âBioShockâ (2K Games/Irrational Games)
Â· âCompany of Heroesâ (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)
Â· âCrysisâ (EA Partners/Crytek)
Â· âDisneyÂ·Pixarâs Ratatouilleâ (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios)
Â· âFlight Simulator Xâ (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)
Â· âFrontlines: Fuels of Warâ (THQ/Kaos Studiosâ¢)
Â· âHalo 2â (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)
Â· âHellgate: London â (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)
Â· âLEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogyâ (LucasArts/TT Games)
Â· âLord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmarâ (Midway/Turbine Inc.)
Â· âMarvel Universe Onlineâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)
Â· âRail Simulatorâ (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)
Â· âShadowrunâ (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)
Â· âSupreme Commanderâ (THQ/Gas Powered Games)
Â· âWorld in Conflictâ (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)
Â· âZoo TycoonÂ® 2: Extinct Animalsâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
Â· âZoo Tycoon 2: Marine ManiaÂ®â (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
Â· âZoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collectionâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
The DirectX 10 API (application programming interface) in Windows Vista is built from the ground up to provide gamers with a rich and incredibly detailed graphic experience. Consumers can see this technology in action in the Games for Windows booth at CES with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800, the first DirectX 10-enabled discrete video card to hit the market, powering demos of âAge of Conan: Hyborian Adventuresâ (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) and âCrysisâ (EA Partners/Crytek). DirectX 10 utilizes the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model and Shader Model 4.0, giving developers the tools to bring amazing game environments to life and maximize the power of the latest video card technology.
Games for Windows Brand Momentum Continues
Games for Windows has allied with new publishers that are committed to making it easier, safer and more fun to game on Windows. Atari, LucasArts, Midway, Turbine Inc., and 2K Games join THQ, Vivendi Universal, Microsoft Game Studios and other leading publishers in releasing new Windows-based titles that feature the Games for Windows branding bar, which assures consumers that the games will deliver great new gaming experiences on the operating system. Newly announced branded Games for Windows titles include âDisneyÂ·Pixarâs Ratatouilleâ (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios), âFrontlines: Fuels of Warâ (THQ/Kaos Studios), âLord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmarâ (Midway/Turbine Inc.), âSupreme Commanderâ (THQ/Gas Powered Games), âWorld in Conflictâ(Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment) and âZoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animalsâ (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games). Those games, alongside previously announced branded titles, will meet a set of technical guidelines including easier installation, increased reliability and support for key Windows Vista features such as the Games Explorer and parental controls.
As part of the packaging and branding initiative, Games for Windows branding will be displayed in gaming sections of Circuit City, CompUSA, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart. Consumers can explore the Windows platform and titles in stores nationwide, which will help make their experience of finding and buying Windows games faster and easier.
In anticipation of the Windows Vista launch, GameStop is installing playable Games for Windows demo kiosks in 750 GameStop stores across the United States in January, enabling gamers to experience firsthand the latest in Windows games.
In addition, retailer backing for Games for Windows has begun to expand globally, with the first European retailers, PC World and Virgin, rolling out Games for Windows-branded signage and in-store promotions in time for the launch of Windows Vista.
About Games for Windows
Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world for games, delivering the widest range of titles, the most gaming hardware choices, and advanced gaming technology for players of all types. With Windows as the cornerstone, the Games for Windows platform offers publishers and gamers the most enjoyable and innovative gaming experiences available on a PC. More information can be found online at http://www.gamesforwindows.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq âMSFTâ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.