Before a packed house of video game leaders gathered in Los Angeles for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. showcased its plans to lead the industry in games, online services, software and alliances.
Microsoft chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach and Electronic Arts Inc. president of worldwide studios Don Mattrick were joined on stage at the Shrine Auditorium by legendary sports stars Muhammad Ali, St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk and Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony as they announced EAs commitment to bringing its games to the Microsoft Xbox Live online gaming service starting this summer.
Through this long-term agreement, many of EA’s major franchises will be coming to Xbox Live, with more than 15 titles expected in the coming months including Madden NFL 2005, NBA LIVE 2005, FIFA Soccer 2005, and Need for Speed Underground 2, as well as Burnout 3, TimeSplitters Future Perfect and the popular online franchise Battlefield.
In addition to the EA announcement, Microsoft showcased new Microsoft Game Studios titles Fable, Jade Empire, Forza Motorsport and Xbox Live Arcade, as well as Activisions Doom 3 and Tecmo’s Dead or Alive Ultimate.
The company also revealed that the highly anticipated Halo 2 will be on store shelves Nov. 9, 2004.
Finally, Microsoft unveiled its XNA voice and notification software tools, which will be integrated into the Windows-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes from Sigil Games Online Inc. The title will be integrated with MSN Messenger in cell phones and other mobile so players can be notified if their friends are online, their castle is under siege or a troll needs to be vanquished.