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"Halo 3" to Make Entertainment History on Sept. 25

Countdown begins for what promises to be bigger than any movie launch in
> history; beta preview and collectible Zune-Halo 3 edition digital media
> player add to early excitement.
> LOS ANGELES - May 15, 2007 - In a year when Hollywood is launching its
> biggest blockbusters ever, a video game is set to conquer them all.
> "Halo(r) 3," the final chapter in the groundbreaking "Halo" trilogy, is
> set to shatter day-one entertainment sales records when it is released
> worldwide beginning Tuesday, Sept. 25. Created by legendary developer
> Bungie Studios and exclusive to the Xbox 360(tm) video game and
> entertainment system, "Halo 3" will set a new standard for interactive
> storytelling and social gaming by engaging consumers worldwide in Master
> Chief's epic battle to save humankind. "Halo 3" will be available to
> audiences around the world starting Sept. 25 and will release in Europe
> on Sept. 26.
> "'Halo 3' is much more than a video game release; it's the biggest
> entertainment event of the year," said Peter Moore, corporate vice
> president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. "On Sept.
> 25, we intend to deliver a finale that will go down in entertainment
> history and leave people around the world with an experience that will
> be shared and enjoyed for years to come."
> Fueling the early buzz around "Halo 3", Microsoft unveiled the
> multiplayer beta on the eve of its release at a star-studded event in
> Hollywood. Beginning tomorrow, May 16, Microsoft Game Studios will kick
> off the "Halo 3" multiplayer beta, which provides audiences worldwide
> with an exclusive, early look at some of the multiplayer elements of
> "Halo 3" on Xbox LIVE(r). Adding to the excitement, Microsoft is also
> announcing a special edition Zune(tm) digital media player inspired by
> the hugely successful "Halo" franchise. On shelves next month, the
> Zune-Halo 3 edition comes loaded with a collection of "Halo" content,
> including videos, soundtracks, trailers, ads and artwork.
> In November 2004, the world's view of video games changed forever with
> the release of "Halo 2," which generated a record-setting $125 million
> in sales within the first 24 hours and changed the way people think
> about interactive entertainment. Three years later, it remains the
> most-played game on Microsoft's Xbox LIVE online gaming and
> entertainment network, with nearly 1 billion hours of online gaming
> logged to date.
> The unveiling of the "Halo 3" launch date comes on the eve of the
> release of the "Halo 3" multiplayer beta, which will debut to audiences
> worldwide via Xbox LIVE on May 16 at 5 a.m. PDT and run through June 6
> at 11:59 p.m. PDT.* The "Halo 3" multiplayer beta will provide audiences
> worldwide with an exclusive early look at some of the multiplayer
> elements of "Halo 3" on Xbox LIVE. Gamers who are interested in
> experiencing the multiplayer beta of "Halo 3" can still participate
> through the purchase of the critically acclaimed, Xbox 360-exclusive
> title "Crackdown(tm)," which was launched in February. Starting May 16,
> the specially marked copies of "Crackdown" will act as a key for gamers
> to participate in the "Halo 3" multiplayer beta. In addition to giving
> gamers their first opportunity to get their hands on the new levels,
> weapons, vehicles and game types, the multiplayer beta will also provide
> valuable data that Bungie will use in continued development.
> The "Halo" franchise has expanded beyond video games into The New York
> Times' best-selling books, graphic novels, collectible merchandise and
> now a new, special edition Zune digital media player. Encased in
> collectible packaging, the Zune-Halo 3 edition digital media player
> comes pre-loaded with artwork, trailers and music from all three "Halo"
> games, as well as an exclusive new episode of "Red vs. Blue" from the
> fan-adored machinima creator Rooster Teeth Productions LLC. The
> Zune-Halo 3 edition (estimated retail price $249) will be available
> exclusively at GameStop starting June 15.
> About Bungie Studios
> Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that
> combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and
> deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real
> goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced
> games such as the "Marathon Trilogy" and the first two "Myth" games,
> hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie's
> "Halo" franchise is an international award-winning action title that has
> grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.7
> million units worldwide, logging nearly 1 billion hours of multiplayer
> action on Xbox LIVE, and spawning action figures, books, a graphic
> novel, apparel and more. Bungie is currently at work on "Halo 3," which
> represents the third chapter in this "Halo" trilogy and is slated for
> release in 2007. More information on Bungie can be found at
> http://www.bungie.net.
> About Microsoft Game Studios
> Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of
> games for the Xbox(r) and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows(r)
> 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(r)," "Flight Simulator" and
> "Zoo Tycoon(r)"; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such
> games as "Gears of War" and franchises such as "Halo," "Fable(r),"
> "Project Gotham Racing(r)" and "Forza Motorsport(r)"; and MSN(r)
> Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN
> network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Hexic(r)."
> 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.
> * The "Halo 3" multiplayer beta will require gamers to have access to an
> Xbox 360 console equipped with a hard drive as well as an Xbox LIVE Gold
> Membership.
> Microsoft, Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, Zune, Crackdown, Xbox, Windows,
> Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Fable, Project Gotham Racing, Forza
> Motorsport, MSN and Hexic are trademarks of the Microsoft group of
> companies.
> The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
> trademarks of their respective owners.

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