Tag Archives: Windows

Diablo III Sells Over 10 Million Units

During Activision Blizzard’s quarterly earnings conference, the company revealed that Diablo III has over ten million players.  Not too shabby at all since the game was released May 15th of this year.  On top of that, it’s a sequel to a game that was released way back in mid-2001!  While the sales are extremely impressive in and of themselves, Activision Blizzard was clear to remind everyone that 3.5 million of those sales happened during the first 24 hours.  Another 1.2 million came from World of Warcraft players subscribing to the annual pass promotion Blizzard ran leading up to Diablo III‘s release.

That’s all I’ve got to say about that for as of right now I still haven’t had the chance to build my computer and give D3 a spin.  I plan to do so ASAP though, but knowing me that could be quite a while ;)  In other relevant news, Blizzard is hoping for a repeat performance with Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft, which officially goes on sale September 25th.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free-to-Play This Fall

Big news for those looking to get into Star Wars: The Old Republic.  EA and BioWare announced today that the popular MMORPG will have its price slashed to only $14.99 sometime this August, and that a new Free-to-Play option will be added to the game sometime this fall.  The new price includes one month of free gameplay. Here are the two options that will be available sometime in the very near future.  EA also says there will be far more updates to the game in the coming months to address player complaints and suggestions.

  • Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
  • Free-To-Play – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.

What’s most interesting about this news is that it proves the MMO landscape is quickly changing. More and more MMORPGs are having a hard time locking in players with monthly subscribtions, with World of Warcraft being the exception.  Free-to-Play has seen tremendous success as of late and I believe this new pricing scheme will benefit those looking to try the game, but are unsure if they want to stick around for the long haul.

Anyone interested?

Blizzard Announces September 25th Launch for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Finally, I’ve got something to report!  Blizzard has finally confirmed the release date for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the forth expansion in their long-running MMO.  As always there will be several versions of the game available, all of which will be playable on a Windows-based PC or a Mac.  The standard DVD-based version will hit retailers on Sept. 25th for $39.99, and will also be available via digital download from Battle.net for the same price.  The Collector’s Edition, which includes a wide variety of goodies mentioned below, will be available in a boxed version for $79.99, while for the first time ever a Digital Deluxe version will also be available for $59.99.  Here’s the difference between the two.

The Digital Deluxe version of Mists of Pandaria includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following exclusive in-game bonus items:

— World of Warcraft In-Game Mount: Take to the skies of Azeroth astride the mystical Imperial Quilen flying mount.

— World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: Journey across Pandaria with the Lucky Quilen Cub at your side.

— StarCraft(R) II Battle.net(R) Portraits: Bring the Horde and Alliance rivalry to the far reaches of the Koprulu sector with exclusive Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar Battle.net portraits.

— Diablo(R) III Banner Sigil and Accent: Display your status as a hero of Pandaria with the iconic markings of World of Warcraft’s newest playable race, the pandaren.

The Collector’s Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items, in addition to the in-game content from the Digital Deluxe version:

— Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray: Learn about the creation of Pandaria with this two-disc set featuring over an hour of commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.

— Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Experience 20 orchestral pieces from Mists of Pandaria.

— The Art of Mists of Pandaria Book: Explore this 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen pieces from the expansion, from early concepts to final 3D renderings.

— Chen Stormstout Mouse Pad: Equip your desk with this special-edition mouse pad featuring the legendary pandaren brewmaster.

Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment had the following to say about the announcement.

“Mists of Pandaria contains the biggest variety of new content we’ve ever created for a World of Warcraft expansion, with features that will appeal to new players, veterans, and everyone in between.  We’ve received a lot of great feedback from players during our most extensive beta test yet, and we hope they enjoy exploring everything Pandaria has to offer when the expansion comes out in September.”

Blizzard has put up a new description of the expansion, which I’ve included in this report for good measure.  It should get you excited about what to expect in the new expansion.

In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, warships of the Alliance and Horde clash off the coast of a long-lost continent, signaling the start of a new era of discovery and conquest in the history of Azeroth. As players storm the shores of this exotic new frontier and begin to explore its mysteries, they’ll encounter brave new allies, unearth ancient secrets, and play their part in reigniting the long-brewing conflict between the Horde and Alliance on a strange battlefield far from home.

Mists of Pandaria offers a wide variety of content for new and returning World of Warcraft players. Features include a new playable race (the pandaren) with its own starting zone and quests, a new character class (the monk), and an expansive new continent for players to explore as they adventure to the new level cap of 90. The expansion also includes a host of new gameplay elements designed to give players even more ways to enjoy the game, including scenarios — a flexible new kind of cooperative PvE trial; challenge modes, which offer high-prestige rewards for mastering Mists of Pandaria’s 5-player dungeons; and an all-new pet battle system.

So there you have it.  How many of you out there are going to be picking this up, and if so, which version?

Vivendi Looking to Offload Activision Blizzard to Microsoft?

It’s no secret Vivendi has been looking to sell their 61% holdings in Activision Blizzard.  News broke last week about this, and today we’ve learned that the French media conglomerate has hired a bank to look for potential buyers of the $10 billion stock.  So who could afford pick up the thriving videogame publisher?  Analysts seem to think Microsoft, Time Warner and Tencent (Huge Chinese conglomerate).

$10 billion is a lot of money, even for all of these companies, but the reason why Microsoft seems such a perfect fit is because of the extreme boost having Call of Duty as an exclusive franchise would be.  Already many consider the series a 360 exclusive, but having it be true is something else entirely.  Also, everyone knows that Blizzard is the most successful PC-exclusive developer in the world, and since Microsoft just so happens to be the world’s largest software supplier with Windows, having Blizzard support only future versions of Windows is very enticing.  Just imagine the one-two punch this would be not only for the Xbox brand, but also for Windows-based PCs.

At this point in time all we know is that Vivendi is looking for potential buyers, but we have no clue who will actually end up with the company.  What say you?

Sega Announces NiGHTS into Dream HD! (Trailer inside)

For longtime fans of the original Saturn classic, this is a very special day.  Check out the debut trailer, and then read on for more info.

NiGHTS into Dreams HD will be available on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC sometime later this fall.  Sega hasn’t announced which digital platform the game will arrive on, on the PC, but odds are Steam as the company uses Steam for almost all of their releases.  Sega has yet to announce a price, but I’m going to guess it’ll be $14.99 on the PS3 and PC, and 1,200 MS Points.  That’s just speculation at this point though so don’t quote me.  In terms of the remake, players can expect up t0 1080p resolution, 16:9 display and achievements/trophies.  For those of us old enough to have played through the original version, Sega is including a saturn version for nostalgia.  I highly recommend everyone give it a go in this mode just to see how vastly improved the visuals have been.

Total War: Rome II Officially Announced

I know we don’t typically cover PC games here, but this is one that I know many of you will be interested in.  The Total War series is critically acclaimed, and combines real-time strategy and resource management with real-time tactical battles.  The series began in 2000 with Shogun: Total War, then continued with Medieval: Total War (2002), Rome: Total War (2004), Medieval II: Total War (2006), Empire: Total War (2009), Napoleon: Total War (2010), and the latest release was Total War: Shogun 2 (2011).  Naturally there were expansions and whatnot released in-between these different releases.  Electronic Arts was the original publisher before the series moved to Activision, but ever since Rome: Total War Sega has published each and every game in the series.  It’s a real money-maker for Sega, which could seriously use all the money they can get right now.  Recently Sega was forced to close many of their international offices because of financial woes.  That’s why today’s announcement should come as some relief to investors.

The Creative Assembly (series developer) Creative Director Mike Simpson said,

“From the immense reach of the sandbox campaign right down to the human-level drama of a single warrior on the battlefield, we’re aiming for an unprecedented level of detail and scale”.

Brand Director Rob Bartholemew said,

“In our 25th year of games development, it feels fitting to return to our most critically acclaimed era. There’s been a multi-generational leap in technology since the original game and we are ready to set another benchmark in gaming.”

That first live-action teaser is pretty epic and gives players an idea of just how far The Creative Assembly wants to take this sequel.  Lead Battle Designer Jamie Ferguson gave an interview to PC Gamer where he discusses exactly what’s planned for this highly anticipated sequel.

So what do you all think?

About Time: Microsoft Tablet Has Finally Surfaced!

20120619-094542.jpg

So Marc’s prediction on our E3 2012 Microsoft Podcast wasn’t off, but late. Microsoft has finally announced a tablet of its own called Surface, which looks sleek! The only details we have so far is that its cover doubles as a fully functional keyboard, which is a nice idea.

So what does this have to do with gaming, you ask? If you’ve been living under a rock, Microsoft did announce SmartGlass at E3, which will be compatible with all tablets and smartphones, so one can argue it makes sense to roll in a competitive tablet of its own…even though most of us didn’t find it to be practical, it was Marc who was right on the money from the get-go.

In addition, Surface will most likely run Windows 8, which has integrated Xbox Live functionality. Perhaps the tablet hides a few other Xbox 360 optimizations of its own, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The only question is: why didn’t they hint on this Tablet at their E3 press conference? I know it’s not exactly a perfect time since Surface is not only about gaming, but most of Microsoft’s conference went on a tangent, and having Surface announced alongside SmartGlass would make perfect sense.

Thoughts?

Update: Stats are in.  There are two distinct models, Surface, and Surface Pro.  Both are built from VaporMg (a molded magnesium casing), and will work with the Touch Cover (Touch-sensative keys) and Type Cover (tactile keys).  We’ve included all the tech specs for each model below.

Surface

Operating System: Windows RT
Power: 31.5 W-h
CPU: Nvidia Tegra ARM
Storage Capacity: 32 or 64GB, and microSD slot
Display: 10.6 in ClearType HD screen with 16:9 aspect ratio
Input: Multi-touch screen, Touch Cover, Type Cover
Connectivity: 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), USB 2.0, micro HDMI
Weight: 676g

Surface Pro

Operating system: Windows 8 Pro
Power: 42 W-h
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5
Storage capacity: 64 or 128 GB and microSDXC slot
Display: 10.6 in ClearType Full HD screen with 16:9 aspect ratio
Input: Multi-touch screen, Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with palm block
Connectivity: 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort
Weight: 903g

Rage Review

Rage (Available on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: M
Players: 1-4
Genre: FPS
Publisher: Bethesda Software
Developer: id Software
Release Date: October 4, 2012

Parent Talk: Rage is rated M for mature by the ESRB, as it features brutal action, much gore and extreme violence.  Player discretion is highly advised.  There’s also strong language and mature themes.

Plays Like: Fallout 3 without the RPG elements and V.A.T.S.  Also Grand Theft Auto in terms of progression.

Review Basis: Finished a wide range of side-quests, online races, the campaign, and everything else I could get my hands on.  Spent about twelve hours, and still didn’t experience everything the game has to offer.

After years of building their new engine, id Software is back with its latest FPS.  Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Rage has more in common with GTA than Doom, but the world is so beautiful and inviting that players shouldn’t mind the new direction.

The Great:

A fresh and original id Software product. No one element stands above the rest in this package, and it’s nice to see id do something different. The results speak for themselves.

The Good:

+ The graphics…part I.  The outdoor environments are breathtaking.  Enemies animate with life-like realism and every NPC you meet has unique facial features.  This is one of the most stunning games released this generation.

+ Towns and characters are a delight.  Everyone has something to bring to the table. Towns, while on the verge of destruction, offer players so many new ways to interact with people. You can participate in races, try your hand at a bizarre holo-board game or play cards with the local gambler.

+ Exploration is rewarded.  Without spoiling anything, players who explore this vast and impressive world should be delighted to find all kinds of easter eggs.  Most are from memorable experience of id past.

+ Progression is tried and true, but works well.  Rage doesn’t tread new ground with its GTA-inspired open world.  You take quests by visiting people in villages, drive to wherever necessary, and either clear out a group of mutants and/or bandits, or find whatever the villager lost.

+ Shooting remains the name of the game.  This is a shooter, so there are countless weapons, ammo types and unique ways to kill anything that moves.  The toys are heavy and feel just right, as is expected from id Software.

+ Racing.  Once your buggy is unlocked, you can add parts increase the speed, strengthen weapons, and add personal decals. All of this is attainable by completing in-game races.  The real fun is when you take your buggy online and race human opponents.

+ Creativity.  Players can create new gear from the plethora of garbage scattered about. Eventually you can build lock-grinders to access areas otherwise impossible to enter, RC car bombs (essentially RC vehicles from hell), and so much more.

+ A new take on health.  If you’re hurt, hide to recover your health.  If you’re near death, a mini-game begins where you can be revived and send a shockwave to stun all nearby enemies.  Be incapacitated again too quickly though and it’s goodbye Charlie.

The So-So:

+/- A good, but not great tale.  While simple, the story introduces players to a world they’ll want to explore.  The cast is memorable, but your journey involves too many fetch quests before things really take off.  The expected climax also doesn’t really come, but the game is intriguing enough.

+/- The AI.  Bandits use cover and try to flank, but mutants always run right at you.  They employ a few surprising maneuvers to dodge your attacks, but after long I noticed that they’re based on old Doom enemies from years ago.

+/- Co-op isn’t traditional. You and a buddy can tackle any of the nine specifically created missions. They’re a fun diversion, but don’t add much to the experience.

The Bad:

– The graphics…part II.  With Rage’s technical prowess, it’s a little silly that a small cardboard acts as an invisible wall. Background objects such as televisions are textured into walls and look plain ugly, especially compared to everything else.

– No auto-save.  After every quest, make sure you save, or you might have to start all over. Another questionable aspect is that you can’t save mid-mission.  For some reason, doing so and returning later requires you to start at the beginning anyway.

The Ugly:

Die already!  Why does it require six headshots to take down an unarmored bandit? The death animations are great, but amount of ammo you need for kills borders on the verge of absurd.

The Lowdown:

Rage looks, sounds and plays like it’s been in the works for years. All the time and effort id Software put into this new engine has proven well worth it. Rage offers an exciting and well-rounded experience that any FPS aficionado can jump into and enjoy.

Average Score Scale: 8.0 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 8.5/10 (Inflated)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: Incredible art direction, lengthy campaign, something new from id Software.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: A somewhat shallow story. GTA-inspired progression and open world may not appeal to everyone.

Age of Empires Online Review

Age of Empires Online (Available only on PC)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Genre: Online Strategy
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Release Date: August 16th, 2011

Parent Talk: Unlike the more visually realistic entries in the series, AoE Online features cartoony graphics. There’s no gore to be found here.  Thus making for a perfect E10+ RTS.

Plays Like: Age of Empires II, StarCraft, with quite a few new ideas thrown in.

Review Basis: Played through a ton of quests, commanded every faction.

The Great:

An interesting idea. Robot Ent. took questing elements from an MMO and merged them with a well-balanced RTS.

The Good:

+ Impressive visual design.  While the polygon count is low and the game could run on virtually any hardware, the new cartoony graphics really fit what Robot Entertainment wanted. Characters animate well and your village units look very detailed and vibrant.

+ Quests.  As you acquire quests, AoE Online diversifies itself.  Your tasks span harvesting, building and conquering your opponent, participating in tower defense, racing, or something else outlandish.

+ Gear and customization.  Completing quests nets you experience and new items that allow your army to be customized. You can enhance one form of strategy or counter another.  Spears a problem? You can work on that.  RTS purists will dislike this, but it helps narrow the MMO-RTS gap and adds tremendous variety to PvP (player versus player).

+ An RTS at heart.  You’re expected to farm resources to build up an empire and create a vast armada before pursuing and smashing the enemy to smithereens.

The So-So:

+/- MMO-type capital city.  The capital city acts as your online avatar, the one and only way to differentiate yourself from everyone else.  Sadly there’s no benefit from it. It’s purely cosmetic.

The Bad:

– Co-op questing.  If you want to team up with someone on a quest, make sure you’re on an equal playing field. If either participant is at a higher level, said player won’t be given the quest objectives or even be told when the quest is finished.

– Path-finding issues everywhere.  While exploring, it’s not uncommon for your units to become stuck behind an object and no longer be useful.  There’s nothing worse than only half of your army being available.

– PvP matches are all over the place.  This is thanks to the bizarre pay-to-play.  Microsoft claims this is a free-to-play game, but it’s more like a glorified demo for each faction.  You miss out on so many items and abilities if you don’t pony up for a faction pack, thus many matches immediately become unbalanced.

The Ugly:

The lackluster AI is a huge blemish. If you send a small group of soldiers to attack an opponent, you expect that to happen. You should never have to micro-manage each battle because your men suddenly stop attacking or veer off into no-man’s land.

The Lowdown:

Age of Empires Online can be fun at times, but the problems weigh it down significantly. If Microsoft patches the game to fix these bugs and adjusts the payment plans, we might have another interesting RTS on our hands. As of now, investing is your call.

Average Score Scale: 6.0 (+/- 1) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 6/10 (Neutral)

Reason for +1 Inflation: Unique twist on a legendary RTS series

Reason for -1 Deflation: Too many bugs and confusing payment structure

Call of Duty: Black Ops Now Available Worldwide

This news post is completely unnecessary, but at this moment it’s a slow news day so whatever.  Activision wants the world to know that Call of Duty: Black Ops is now available pretty much on every continent.  This has been standard stuff for the past few years now.  After the Infinity Ward debacle I know a lot of people were left a bit squeamish, but the truth is this is likely going to be the highest selling game of 2010.  So if you’ve already picked it up, let us know what you think of it below.  If you still feel abandoned by what transpired earlier, voice your opinion below.

I’m most certainly going to be picking this one up later this week or early next week to get a review out.  I’ve got a few more big releases to go before I can say this year is over with.  There’s Fallout: New Vegas, Gran Turismo 5, Black Ops, and Bond. I know there’s more, but you get the idea.  So are you ready to answer the Call of Duty?

Fallout: New Vegas Moves 5 Million Units!

Say what you will about Fallout: New Vegas, but the title has been selling extremely well.  I’m currently working my way through the game, hoping to have a review out before the end of the week.  What I can say right now is that yes, this is one buggy game.  Thankfully along with releasing the news that it has shipped five million units worldwide, Bethesda also announced a massive patch which will fix many of the game-breaking bugs.  I haven’t had as many problems as others, but I have indeed noticed many questionable bugs.  For everyone who picked up New Vegas, how has your time with the game been?  Have you been able to crash your system?  Have you had the mysterious floating heads, etc?  Let us know!

Valve Announces Dota 2 Coming To Mac & PC In 2011

We have nothing to go on here except for what Valve tells us.  They plan to release a sequel to one of the most played games in the world, Defence of the Ancients.  Dota 2 will be released sometime in 2011.  More info as we get it.

Sorry I couldn’t help it.  I noticed this video on Joystiq and simply had to copy them.  It was hilarious and so out of nowhere.  Anyways, were you a fan of the original?  If so, is this exciting news?

Microsoft Confirms Early Reports – Windows Phone 7 Series, Kinect Supports, And More

Remember all those reports from early this morning?  Well Microsoft has just got around to compiling a large press release which recaps everything.  Since I already posted this info in a series of posts, this saves me from editing all of the previous posts with the exact same press release copied and pasted a dozen times or so.

Microsoft transforms entertainment at home and on the go with launch of Kinect and new Xbox LIVE experiences on Windows Phone 7 and PC Kinect for Xbox 360 brings controller-free entertainment to Europe from November 10, 2010

COLOGNE, Germany — August 17, 2010 — Xbox will transform entertainment at home and on the go this year with Kinect for Xbox 360 officially launching in Europe, Middle East and Africa  on November 10 opening up a new world of controller-free games and Xbox LIVE entertainment. Xbox LIVE and a blockbuster line up of games on Windows Phone 7 will also launch this holiday and Microsoft announced a new line up of LIVE enabled titles coming to the PC.

Gamescom 2010 is the European premiere of Kinect for Xbox 360, introducing millions more to the intuitive freedom of  being controller-free. The show will unveil new games and experiences demonstrating the depth and breadth of the launch lineup of more than 15 exclusive Kinect titles, including never-before-seen levels, new environments, achievements and characters for “Kinect Sports,” “Kinect Adventures,” “Kinectimals” and “Kinect Joyride.” MTV Games and Harmonix will also announce new chart-topping dance tracks for  the highly anticipated “Dance Central”.

Speaking before the show, Chris Lewis, vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft Europe said, “We are bringing the Kinect experience to Europe for the first time at Gamescom because this is the biggest show in the region and we’re committed to investing in Europe and the critical role it plays in Xbox’s global success.  When Kinect launches on November 10, it’s not just transformative for our business but it’s set to change how you use entertainment. You become the controller, giving you the choice in how you and your friends navigate entertainment and gaming experiences. We’re already seeing a high level of anticipation in Europe with sales of the Kinect ready Xbox 360 250GB creating an all-time record weekly market share .”

“This is also the year of expansion for Xbox 360; in terms of new audiences, new markets for Xbox LIVE and multiple platforms. With Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7 we are bringing the quality, consistence and community of the Xbox experience to gamers on the go. With “Age of Empires Online”, “Fable III” and new games still in development we’re also bringing, social, connected gaming experiences to all new audiences on the PC. When you look at what we are bringing to the market this year with the magic of Kinect, alongside our blockbuster line-up of games, including the biggest game for 2010, “Halo: Reach”, we’re confident that Xbox 360 has something for all the family and will be the gaming and entertainment console of 2010 and beyond.”

More Kinect To Love

New Kinect game experiences which will be unveiled at Gamescom reveal a never-before-seen depth to controller-free games that will keep the casual or the hardcore gamer entertained for hours. The classic kart racing title “Kinect Joy Ride” featuring new modes that will keep gameplay fresh and challenging whether playing alone or with friends will be on show, along with  thrilling new adventures exploring exotic locations, collecting treasures and earning  rewards in “Kinect Adventures”.  A host of cute new animal friends to help you expore the world of  “Kinectimals” and three new events in “Kinect Sports” which are guaranteed to entice the family off the sofa, will also be revealed for the first time at the event.

The Blockbusters Get Bigger

2010 finds all the biggest blockbusters on Xbox 360, with an amazing 3rd party lineup proving that once again Xbox 360 is the best place to play, including the highly anticipated blockbusters “Halo:Reach” and “Fable III” which will be showing off some new features for play at Gamescom.

A New Era in Mobile Gaming

Gamescom 2010 is also the venue for the global unveil of the first wave of Xbox LIVE games launching on Windows Phone 7 this holiday. Building on Microsoft’s pioneering work with Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 will be home to a premier, ever-expanding portfolio of Xbox LIVE titles from the most creative minds in game development, including Microsoft Game Studios. From Avatars to Achievements, friends and more, Windows Phone 7 is putting the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of your hand.

Reinventing Classic PC Franchises

Microsoft will also unveil the newest addition to the best-selling “Age of Empires” franchise, “Age of Empires Online.” Marrying fresh online features with iconic gameplay,“Age of Empires Online” will offer something for long-time fans, newcomers, and everyone in between. Additionally, Microsoft will announce the development of a new game inspired by the time-honored “Flight Simulator” franchise. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, these new titles, along with the previously announced “Fable III,” fully integrate the free  “Games for Windows – LIVE” online service to deliver compelling, socially-connected gameplay experiences.

Now that everything is compiled here in this one post, what are your Microsoft highlights from Gamescom?

Massive EA Report From Gamescom 2010

EA announced a whole bunch of interesting news today.  Instead of posting a bunch of different posts with boring press releases, I figured it would be more logical to just compile them all together into one long boring post with a bunch of press releases ;)  Truth be told, there’s some interesting stuff in here like being able to be a goalkeeper in FIFA Soccer 11, or the fact that David Beckham is now an EA brand ambassador, whatever that means.  They also revealed the ship date for Dragon Age 2, and announced a couple of special editions for their bigger releases for later this year and next.  Give everything a quick read through and let me know what you think of the news.

Now Fans Can Play as the Goalkeeper in EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer 11

All 22 Players on the Pitch Can Be Human Controlled in Online Team Play

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announced today that EA SPORTSTM has developed a new feature called Be A Goalkeeper for FIFA Soccer 11 that will enable fans to experience the thrill of playing as the keeper, and for the first time in a soccer videogame, will place control of all 22 players on the pitch in human hands. The new feature will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system when FIFA Soccer 11 is available in stores September 28 in North America and October 1 in Europe and Asia.

Chelsea FC and Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Čech has been signed as the spokesperson for Be A Goalkeeper and will be featured in advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns.

Be A Goalkeeper is a completely new way to play—instead of thinking as a player out in the middle of the pitch, you have to think and react as the goalkeeper. Experience the thrill of the one on one battle, making the great save from a free kick, punching balls safely out of danger, the pressure of the corner, and most importantly, keeping a clean sheet. Be A Goalkeeper features three levels of accessibility with varying degrees of AI assistance—assisted, semi-assisted and fully manual. Fans will be able to compete as the goalie in Career Mode and enjoy a 15-year career or create themselves as the goalie in Virtual Pro 2.0 to learn the position, track stats, complete achievements and test themselves against the best players in the virtual world.

With control of the keeper now in human hands FIFA Soccer 11 will deliver an authentic replication of soccer online with 11 vs. 11 Online Team Play that locks people into the role of a single, fixed player the entire game. Now up to 11 friends on different consoles will be able to select and take control of their own individual players on the same team to compete against up to 11 rivals of another team.

“The phenomenal growth of online gaming and the desire of our fans to be able to play as the goalie was the driving force behind this innovation for FIFA Soccer 11,” said Kaz Makita, Executive Producer, EA SPORTS FIFA. “Friends can play alongside each other in their pro clubs with all 11 virtual players on the pitch human controlled. We have finally replicated football in the virtual world.”

Over 750 million online connected games have been played since FIFA Soccer 10 launched last October and over 350,000 pro clubs have been created that enable friends to compete alongside each other against rival clubs. Pro Clubs is one of the most popular online game modes in FIFA.

FIFA Soccer 11 reinvents player authenticity – on and off the ball – for every position on the pitch with Personality+, and introduces new Pro Passing where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch. Plus, experience true freedom in man-to-man interactions with 360° Fight for Possession that transforms physical play from just lateral jostling to full 360° collisions.

Visit http://www.facebook.com/easportsfifa to join the EA SPORTS FIFA Facebook group or visit WWW.FIFA.EASPORTS.COM for more information about the game. New game modes and innovations will be revealed later this month. Screenshots are available at http://info.ea.com.

FIFA Soccer 11 will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, Wii™, PC, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo DS™, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and mobile. It will be available on the Wii in North America on Oct. 4. FIFA 11 is developed under the EA SPORTS brand by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C. The game has not yet been rated.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA ELITE basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

David Beckham Named Brand Ambassador for EA SPORTS Active 2

Global Icon to Endorse New Interactive Fitness Program in Europe and Australia

GENEVA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, EA SPORTS™, a label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), announced the signing of global football superstar David Beckham as brand ambassador for EA SPORTS Active 2, an innovative line of interactive fitness products that feature personalized, customizable workouts. Beckham will act as the franchise spokesperson and will be featured in advertising and retail material across Europe and Australia. EA SPORTS Active 2 focuses on improving muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as improving cardio; it will combine a heart rate monitor and motion tracking data to deliver a fitness experience that achieves authentic, measurable results. EA SPORTS Active 2 will be available on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3, Wii™, iPhone® and iPod touch® in Europe and Australia on November 19.

“David has always worked hard to stay in excellent shape and has inspired people around the world to make fitness a priority,” says Jens Uwe Intat, Senior Vice President & GM of European Publishing, EA. “We’re excited about this collaboration with David as the high value he places on fitness makes him a perfect fit for EA SPORTS Active 2. We are looking forward to working with him to motivate people everywhere to get active.”

“EA SPORTS Active is impressive and includes many elements that I have seen throughout my football career,” says David Beckham. “I’m excited to collaborate with EA SPORTS who have a great track record in developing authentic and credible sports products and games over the years.”

EA SPORTS Active 2 will ship with the Total Body Tracking system that combines a heart rate monitor and motion tracking data to ensure a workout with accurate tracking and measurable results. Using heart rate data that is displayed on-screen throughout the workout, users will be able to capture the intensity of their workout, allowing them to optimize their performance and reach their fitness goals quicker. Additionally, users will now also be able to track both their workout and heart rate data on the new EA SPORTS Active 2 online* hub; allowing users to track their progress over time and stay motivated. Motion tracking data will provide complete freedom of motion for a deeper workout experience. EA SPORTS Active 2 will make working out simple, effective and will go with you wherever you are.

EA SPORTS Active is currently the number one rated interactive fitness program for the Wii on the market**. EA SPORTS Active 2 is in development at EA Canada in Vancouver and is rated “E” by the ESRB, “0” by USK and “3” by PEGI, it has an MRSP of €99, £79, $99.95 USD and $149 AUD. For more information please visit www.easportsactive.com. Media can find photos of the product mentioned here at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA ELITE basketball, NCAA® Football and NCAA Basketball, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

* Internet connection and EA account required

** According to Metacritic.com, August, 2010

EA Wields Its Magic Adding Kinect Mode to Its Upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Videogame

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The EA Play Label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have announced that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™- Part 1 videogame will have an exclusive KinectTM for Xbox 360® experience with unique challenges that puts more power into players’ hands.

With all of the action taking place outside of Hogwarts for the first time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 sees Harry on the run with a horde of merciless enemies on his tail. Players will find themselves in unknown territory, far from the safety of the school grounds, fighting for survival at every turn. The new game engine, built specifically to leverage the technology of HD consoles, ensures high definition graphics and intense action gameplay on all platforms while the Kinect experience on Xbox 360 offers exclusive challenges, for either single player or two player co-op, playing as Harry, Ron or Hermione.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is non-stop action with Harry defending himself against a host of menacing enemies,” said Jonathan Bunney, Vice President and Head of Production at EA Bright Light Studios. “Our Kinect challenges allow players to literally cast magic from the palm of their hand, completely controller free, to enhance and deepen the overall play experience; and, even better, we have enabled a special co-op mode with Kinect allowing two people to fight Death Eaters side-by-side for the first time in any Harry Potter game.”

The Kinect experience in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 gives players the ability to get closer to the action than ever before, using physical gestures to cast magic through the screen and defeat their deadly opponents. In co-op mode, the fluid targeting system and leaderboard scoring add a competitive edge to the excitement.

Under development by EA Bright Light Studio, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 will be available this autumn on Kinect for Xbox 360™, PlayStation®3, Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC, and mobile devices.

About the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 film

Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction—the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart.

Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort’s Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter. The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort…alive.

Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale—the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks.

Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became “the Boy Who Lived.” No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort.

Experience a Blood-Soaked Rise to Power When BioWare Launches Dragon Age 2 on March 8, 2011

Watch the First Dragon Age 2 Trailer “Destiny” and Pre-Order the Highly Anticipated Action RPG Today

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), announced today that Dragon Age2 will be available on March 8, in North America and March 11, 2011 in Europe. Dragon Age 2 is the sequel to the 2009’s “RPG of the Year”, featuring faster-paced action, striking new art direction and an updated method of storytelling that will allow gamers to experience the rise to power of one of the most important characters in the Dragon Age universe. The game’s first trailer, “Destiny”, is available for viewing now at www.DragonAge.com.

“The Dragon Age franchise got off to a tremendous start. With Dragon Age 2, we are building on the outstanding RPG fundamentals the original delivered while taking the franchise in a new direction with faster, more responsive combat that will allow players to think like a general, but fight like a Spartan,” said Mark Darrah, executive producer at BioWare. “We are giving the franchise’s gameplay a shot of adrenaline. We can’t wait to get the game in people’s hands so they can feel the difference.”

Dragon Age 2 thrusts players into the role of Hawke, a refugee who survives the destruction of his homeland and becomes the Champion of Kirkwall. The lore around Hawke’s rise to power is shrouded in myth and rumor and is the driving force behind this all-new story spanning 10 years in the Dragon Age universe timeline. Players will uniquely experience how this legend unfolds by gathering the deadliest of allies, making tough moral choices, amassing fame and fortune, and sealing their place in history.

For more information on Dragon Age 2, please visit www.DragonAge.com, follow the game at www.twitter.com/dragonage and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DragonAgeOrigins.

EA and Crytek Unveil Two Special Editions for Crysis 2

Special Editions Unlock Bonuses for Crysis 2 Multiplayer at Launch in March 2011

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Crytek GmbH, Europe’s leading independent video game studio and award-winning developers of the critically acclaimed Crysis® franchise, today announced two special editions for the highly anticipated first person shooter Crysis 2; the Crysis 2 Limited Edition and the Crysis 2 Nano Edition. Both editions feature premium packaging and special unlocks in the Crysis 2 multiplayer game. The Limited Edition and Nano Edition are available for pre-order now in limited quantities*. EA and Crytek also announced today a closed multiplayer beta for Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system starting this fall.

The Crysis 2 Limited Edition will be available for no additional cost, while supplies last, and features four must-have in-game unlocks for the ultimate multiplayer experience:

  • Bonus XP – Players will jump into multiplayer battles with an edge by starting with enough experience points to gain early access to all 5 preset class load-outs.
  • SCAR Hologram Decoy – This special attachment to the SCAR will project a hologram image of the player, allowing them to confuse their opponents with the decoy.
  • SCAR Weapon Skin – This digital camouflage skin will allow players to add a personalized touch to one of the more popular assault rifles in the game.
  • Platinum Dog Tag – This special one-of-a-kind dog tag is one of over 250 that will be collectible in Crysis 2 multiplayer, helping to separate you from the rest of the field.

The Crysis 2 Nano Edition is designed for the ultimate Crysis fan and will include the Limited Edition housed in a steel case plus an 11” / 28 cm statue of the game’s hero “Prophet” on top of a New York taxi cab, a high-quality art book, all packaged inside a backpack modeled after the Nanosuit itself. Not available in stores, the Nano Edition is available in extremely limited quantities via pre-order only for $149.99 / £119.99 / €129.99.

Crysis 2 is one of the most anticipated games of 2011, coming out of last June’s Electronic Entertainment Expo with 25 nominations and 12 awards including “Best Shooter” from GameSpy.com and “Best Graphics” from Gamespot.com. The game’s multiplayer is being developed by Crytek’s specialist multiplayer studio, Crytek UK. Just like the gripping single-player campaign, Crysis 2 multiplayer will grant players the superhuman powers of the Nanosuit, allowing them to be the weapon as they utilize their powers against each other across, above and below various locations and landmarks throughout New York City.

Built on Crytek’s new state-of-the-art multiplatform game development solution, CryENGINE®3, Crysis 2 will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC in 2D and 3D** on March 22, 2011 in North America and March 25, 2011 in Europe.

For more information on Crysis 2, please visit http://sosnewyork.com, http://www.mycrysis.com or follow the game on Twitter at www.twitter.com/crysis or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/crysis.

* Restrictions and conditions apply. See back of pack for details.

** Additional hardware and accessories, not included with game, may be required for full 3D effects.

EA Announces Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Limited Edition

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Criterion Games, a studio of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced a Limited Edition version of Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit, this holiday’s hottest action racing game. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is bringing the intensity of cops vs. racers to the connected generation. The Limited Edition features six of the world’s fastest cars that players can use to race and chase their friends, right out of the box. Available at participating retailers at the same price as the standard version, the Limited Edition packs added value for speed junkies, while supplies last.

The Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Limited Edition delivers six exotic cars; Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, Ford Shelby GT500, Audi TT RS Coupé, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Porsche Cayman S and Dodge Challenger SRT8. The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and Ford Shelby GT500 are only available in the Limited Edition – and will not be available at any other time. For those players who miss the opportunity to pick up the Limited Edition, the Audi TT RS Coupé, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Porsche Cayman S and Dodge Challenger SRT8 can be unlocked by leveling up in the game.

These high-powered racing machines give players a day-one advantage when they compete – and beat – their friends on the open road. Whether playing in real-time live multiplayer or challenging and comparing races with friends offline, Limited Edition owners have an edge over their friends – an especially important benefit since the game is all about the connected social experience. At the heart of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a groundbreaking network called Autolog that tracks cop and racer performances and uses those statistics to generate fierce competition between friends by dynamically changing the way they play the game. By having the fastest cars on the road, players can challenge their friends, destroy their times and bask in the glory of their humiliation.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit recently won the prestigious ‘Best Racing Game’ award at the Electronic Entertainment Expo from the Game Critics Awards. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit will be available on Nov. 16, 2010 in North America and on Nov. 18 and 19, 2010 in Europe on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit will also be available on the Wii™ and is being developed by Exient.

For more of the latest news about the game, visit http://www.needforspeed.com. Or become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/needforspeed and follower at http://www.twitter.com/needforspeed.

Now that’s what I call a post!  Is there any one thing you’re looking forward to in all this?

Microsoft Blows The Lid Off Windows Phone 7 – A Phone With Xbox Live Achievements

I think it’s time our very own Steven Lacroix enters the smartphone buying business.  He’s by far the most addicted fan of the achievement system here at COE.  Today Microsoft revealed the line-up of titles it has being prepared for its latest software for smart phones, Windows Phone 7 series.  I already talked a bit about this in my previous phone article, but this time around we have even more information.  I’ve compiled everything together into one nice long press release, thanks to MS.  The information is from Gamescom 2010, which is going on right now in Europe.  Thanks to the time zones, I’m only getting this information now though.  Anyways, what do you all think of being able to add to your Gamerscore via a phone?  Pretty nuts no?

With Xbox LIVE and a Blockbuster Title Lineup, Windows Phone 7 Marks a New Era in Mobile Gaming

First wave of Xbox LIVE titles from award-winning publishers announced for the launch of Windows Phone 7.

COLOGNE, Germany — Aug. 17, 2010 — Today at gamescom 2010, the world’s largest consumer-oriented games showcase, Microsoft Corp. premiered the first wave of Xbox LIVE games launching on Windows Phone 7 this holiday. With even more games and applications to come, Windows Phone 7 is putting the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of your hand — from Xbox LIVE Avatars to staying connected with friends, Xbox LIVE is now at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere.*

“We believe that no matter where life takes you, the best in gaming and entertainment should follow,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE at Microsoft. “Windows Phone 7 takes a different approach to handheld gaming, utilizing Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Game Studios, leading game publishers, and innovative indie developers, to create powerful, shared experiences for everyone.”

The Games You Want, Played When and Wherever You Want Them

In a sea of games, apps, gadgets and gizmos, the biggest obstacle can be finding the game that’s right for you. Only Windows Phone 7 has a Games hub featuring Xbox LIVE, creating a different kind of mobile gaming experience that puts the games you want front and center. Xbox LIVE games on Windows Phone 7 will be specially selected from the top names in mobile, PC and console game development, making the best mobile games even better, thanks to Xbox LIVE. With try-before-you-buy demos, Xbox LIVE leaderboards, turn-based multiplayer, Achievements and more, Windows Phone 7 brings the quality, consistency and community of the Xbox experience to gamers on the go.

Windows Phone 7 also will be supported by content from Microsoft Game Studios (MGS), providing strong first-party gaming titles and intellectual property for the phone. For Xbox fans, this means that Windows Phone 7 will offer companion titles to familiar names, such as “Halo: Waypoint,” and “Crackdown 2,” extending the experience of their favorite Xbox 360 franchises.

“Windows Phone 7 is the launch of a major gaming platform for Microsoft,” said Matt Booty, general manager of mobile gaming for MGS. “Just like we’ve done with Xbox 360, our charter is to push the envelope and deliver definitive games that maximize the platform. We will have an incredible lineup of MGS titles, and that’s just the beginning.”

The most creative minds in game development are bringing the biggest franchises to Windows Phone 7. The first wave of launch portfolio titles includes Xbox LIVE games from the likes of Gameloft, Konami Digital Entertainment, Namco Bandai, PopCap and THQ. Whether you choose to play a gem of a puzzler with “Bejeweled™ LIVE” (PopCap), bring down the house with “Guitar Hero 5” (Glu Mobile), fight off a destructive alien invasion in “The Harvest” (MGS), paint your way out of a corner with “Max and the Magic Marker” (PressPlay) or defend your city in “Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst” (MGS), the first wave of games announced in the launch portfolio of Xbox LIVE games on Windows Phone 7 has something for every mobile gamer:

“3D Brick Breaker Revolution” (Digital Chocolate)
“Age of Zombies” (Halfbrick)
“Armor Valley” (Protégé Games)
“Asphalt 5” (Gameloft)
“Assassins Creed” (Gameloft)
“Bejeweled™ LIVE” (PopCap)
“Bloons TD” (Digital Goldfish)
“Brain Challenge” (Gameloft)
“Bubble Town 2” (i-Play)
“Butterfly” (Press Start Studio)
“CarneyVale Showtime” (MGS)
“Castlevania” (Konami Digital Entertainment)
“Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst” (MGS)
“De Blob Revolution” (THQ)
“Deal or No Deal 2010” (i-Play)
“Earthworm Jim” (Gameloft)
“Fast & Furious 7” (i-Play)
“Fight Game Rivals” (Rough Cookie)
“Finger Physics” (Mobliss Inc.)
“Flight Control” (Namco Bandai)
“Flowerz” (Carbonated Games)
“Frogger” (Konami Digital Entertainment)
“Fruit Ninja” (Halfbrick)
“Game Chest-Board” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Card” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Logic” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Solitaire” (MGS)
“GeoDefense” (Critical Thought)
“Ghostscape” (Psionic)
“Glow Artisan” (Powerhead Games)
“Glyder 2” (Glu Mobile)
“Guitar Hero 5” (Glu Mobile)
“Halo Waypoint” (MGS)
“Hexic Rush” (Carbonated Games)
“I Dig It” (InMotion)
“iBlast Moki” (Godzilab)
“ilomilo” (MGS)
“Implode XL” (IUGO)
“Iquarium” (Infinite Dreams)
“Jet Car Stunts” (True Axis)
“Let’s Golf 2” (Gameloft)
“Little Wheel” (One click dog)
“Loondon” (Flip N Tale)
“Max and the Magic Marker” (PressPlay)
“Mini Squadron” (Supermono Limited)
“More Brain Exercise” (Namco Bandai)
“O.M.G.” (Arkedo)
“Puzzle Quest 2” (Namco Bandai)
“Real Soccer 2” (Gameloft)
“The Revenants” (Chaotic Moon)
“Rise of Glory” (Revo Solutions)
“Rocket Riot” (Codeglue)
“Splinter Cell Conviction” (Gameloft)
“Star Wars: Battle for Hoth” (THQ)
“Star Wars: Cantina” (THQ)
“The Harvest” (MGS)
“The Oregon Trail” (Gameloft)
“Tower Bloxx NY” (Digital Chocolate)
“Twin Blades” (Press Start Studio)
“UNO” (Gameloft)
“Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet” (i-Play)
“Zombie Attack!” (IUGO)
“Zombies!!!!” (Babaroga)

Additional titles in the launch portfolio will be released between now and the Windows Phone 7 launch this holiday season; once the phone launches, new Xbox LIVE titles also will be added to the games portfolio every week.

Xbox LIVE: Bringing More to Your Mobile Gaming

Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7 unlocks a world of games and fun and directly connects you to a global community of more than 25 million active Xbox LIVE members. Windows Phone 7 is the only phone that seamlessly integrates Xbox LIVE and provides unique mobile gaming experiences:

Avatars. Connect to your Xbox LIVE profile and Avatar, or create a new one if you don’t already have an Avatar or Xbox LIVE profile; take your 3-D Avatar and props with you on the phone with full closet access.
Friends. Bring your Xbox LIVE friends with you everywhere; compare Achievements, challenge rivals to your favorite game, and even see who’s online and what they’re doing on their consoles, PCs or phones.
Game access. Easily view and launch your full game library from a single location; find, try and buy new games either in the Marketplace or Games hub.
Achievements. Earn, view and track Achievements, view Xbox LIVE leaderboards and build your Gamerscore across Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 — every time you play an Xbox LIVE title.
Messaging. Communicate with all of your Xbox LIVE friends, any time you want, through Xbox LIVE messages.
Multiplayer. Invite, connect and play against friends on other Windows Phone 7 phones or the PC with turn-based (asynchronous) multiplayer gaming.
Spotlight. Access Xbox LIVE Spotlight feeds, including the latest game titles, breaking news from Xbox LIVE, game tips and tricks, and more.

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360, connecting you to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sports and social entertainment. Xbox LIVE lets you play the best games, enjoy the largest on-demand library on any console, listen to millions of songs and share the fun with friends around the world. This holiday season, Xbox LIVE will come to Windows Phone 7 and put the power of connected entertainment in the palm of your hand. Xbox LIVE is also the exclusive home of controller-free online entertainment through Kinect, making your Xbox 360 more intuitive and interactive than ever before. With an active community of 25 million people across 26 countries, expanding to 35 this fall, Xbox LIVE, together with Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7, provides you with instant access to the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, wherever you are. More information about Xbox LIVE can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/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.

* Mobile network access required; carrier fees may apply.