Last night saw the MTV launch of the new Xbox 360 (to be repeated on MTV in the UK tonight). As expected the new Xbox has learnt lessons from the huge success of the Xbox Media Center project on the original hardware. The press release reveals –
Read the full press release – “Xbox 360 Press Release: Celebrating the dawn of a new era in entertainment, millions of game fanatics around the globe came together tonight for the televised unveiling of the Xbox 360 future-generation game and entertainment system from Microsoft. An audience of millions watched “MTV Presents: The Next-Generation Xbox Revealed” as celebrities, professional athletes, musicians and Xbox officials took the wraps off the much-anticipated system, ending months of intense speculation and satiating consumers worldwide.
The new Xbox 360 system places players at the center of powerful next-generation games and entertainment experiences. The elegant design features a breakthrough wireless controller and an array of Faces, interchangeable faceplates that let gamers personalize their console. The unveiling spotlighted some of the groundbreaking games in development for the new Xbox 360 system, advancements for the Xbox Live service the only unified console gaming service – and new digital media experiences that only Xbox 360 can deliver.
“With the first generation of Xbox, our ambition was to change the way people think about video games,” said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. “Starting today with Xbox 360, our ambition is to transform the way people play games and have fun.”
Xbox 360 will unleash the greatest game lineup in the history of video games when it launches in North America, Europe and Japan this Christmas holiday. The games that captured the color, drama and fun of high-definition gameplay at the MTV unveiling included 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K6, Activision Publishing Inc.’s “Call of Duty 2 and “Tony Hawk™ American Wasteland”, along with id Software™s “QUAKE 4; Electronic Arts’ “Madden NFL 06,” “Need for Speed Most Wanted” and “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06, Majesco Entertainment™ “The Darkness”, Microsoft Game Studios’ “Perfect Dark: Zero”, “Kameo: Elements of Power”, “Project Gotham Racing 3 and “Gears of War”, THQ Inc.’s “Saint’s Row”, and Ubisoft Entertainment’s “Ghost Recon 3.”
The Platform and Partners Power the Portfolio
Xbox 360 ignites a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized and always in high definition. It is the only system designed with a singular platform vision that combines the most-powerful hardware with intelligent software and services advancements.
Every Xbox 360 game is designed for high-definition, wide-screen televisions. Regardless of the television Xbox 360 connects to, gamers will experience smooth, cinematic experiences that far exceed anything they’ve seen or felt in games before. And these experiences are never more than a click away. The Xbox Guide Button is the launch pad that connects gamers to their games, friends and music from the wireless controller.
With more than one teraflop of system-floating point performance, a three-core PowerPC-based CPU for the most-advanced artificial intelligence and physics processing, a custom ATI graphics processor, and more than 512 MB of memory for the ultimate in visual fidelity, the Xbox 360 hardware is a perfect blend of power, elegance and balance. Xbox 360 also features software so smart it remembers what gamers have achieved, continually evolving and enhancing the game experience. When the system is combined with unrivaled Microsoft XNA software development tools, game creators can produce truly believable, thriving worlds.
Fabled game studios such as BioWare Corp., Bizarre Creations Ltd., Bungie Studios and Rare Ltd., as well as legendary Japanese game creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, and Yoshiki Okamoto, are harnessing the powerful Xbox 360 platform to create exclusive games for Microsoft Game Studios. Equally commanding, game-changing publishers such as 2K Games, Activision Publishing Inc., Capcom Co. Ltd., Electronic Arts, Tecmo Inc., Namco Hometek Inc., Rockstar Games, SEGA of America Inc., THQ and Ubisoft Entertainment just to name a few are flocking to Xbox 360.
“Xbox 360 marks the beginning of a renaissance in video games,” said Don Mattrick, president of Worldwide Studios for Electronic Arts. “The unbelievable Xbox 360 games in development at Electronic Arts will accelerate the industry’s mission to make video games the pre-eminent form of all entertainment.”
“With Xbox 360, a new chapter in video game history is being written,” said Kathy Vrabeck, president of Activision Publishing. “The platform liberates us to achieve new levels of graphics and gameplay so our audiences connect emotionally with more riveting stories, more believable characters and more open, living worlds.”
Xbox Live: New Levels of Service Get Everyone in the Game
Connect Xbox 360 to a broadband connection and get instant access to Xbox Live Silver, available for no monthly service charge with an Xbox 360 system. Players can express their digital identity through their Gamer Profile; connect with friends anytime, anywhere through Xbox Live voice chat; send and receive text and voice message; and access Xbox Live Marketplace to download demos and trailers along with new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins, classic arcade and card and board games, community-created content, and more to the detachable Xbox 360 hard drive – all right out of the box at no extra cost. Composed of user-generated information such as Achievements (rewards players have earned in games), Gamerzone (style of play), and a custom-created Gamertile (a visual icon to represent the gamer online), the Gamer Profile makes it easy to connect with the Xbox Live community.
Gamers who subscribe to the premium service, Xbox Live Gold, can experience the thrill of multiplayer online gameplay. Gamer Profiles will provide a foundation for intelligent matchmaking, so players of similar skill levels and interests can quickly and easily connect, and the Xbox Live Camera peripheral will let gamers add their faces into games and see their friends while they play. Other Xbox Live Gold features for premium members include video messaging; online tournaments and ladders; and exclusive, original programming such as playing with celebrities online and joining sponsored tournaments to win prizes. And all Xbox 360 owners new to Xbox Live will kick-start their experience with a free month of the full subscription service, which will let them experience the full power of Xbox Live.
Unlock a New World of Digital Entertainment
With Xbox 360, gamers are always on. At its core, Xbox 360 is an amazing game machine with a wide selection of titles. But it is also an entertainment system that lets people power new experiences. Every Xbox 360 system has built-in progressive-scan DVD movie, CD music and photo playback support. The integration of Xbox Live into the system lets players receive game invitations from friends while they’re watching movies or listening to music. And every MP3 player, digital camera and Windows XP-based PC with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port can plug right into an Xbox 360 system to stream music and photos.
In addition, with built-in Media Center Extender functionality in every system, Xbox 360 players can access recorded TV and digital movies, music, video and photos stored on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs through any Xbox 360 system in the house.
Xbox 360 also opens the door to incredible, new high-definition entertainment. In addition to optimizing all Xbox 360 games for high definition, Xbox 360 will stream high-definition TV and movies stored on Media Center PCs starting this holiday season. As high-definition entertainment becomes more pervasive, Microsoft will offer more ways to experience HDTV and movies in any room in the house, any way people want it. Whether it’s by the dropping of an optical disc in a drive, streaming to Xbox 360, or through broadband distribution, Xbox 360 will let players choose how to light up their high-definition content.
“Xbox 360 is a revolution that promises to ignite new levels of creativity, community and competition,” Bach said. “Tonight’s unveiling is a signal to the world that the next generation of gaming is here.”
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the future-generation video game and entertainment system that places gamers at the center of the experience. Available this holiday season in North America, Europe and Japan, Xbox 360 will ignite a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized and always in high definition.
About Xbox Live
Now in its third generation of transforming and uniting Xbox game communities, with more than 300 games planned by end of holiday 2005 and now with presence in 24 countries worldwide, Xbox Live has set the bar for online games entertainment. As the first global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live continues to take online gameplay and entertainment to unprecedented heights. With a rapidly growing global community, Xbox Live offers best-in-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com – there is simply nothing else like it. The service continues to provide more and more ways for members to meet, interact and stay engaged with each other. ”