Blockbuster Line-up for Xbox 360, PC and Mobile Delivers Games for Everyone, Everywhere

LONDON– 24 February 2011– Whether you’re taking aim with a controller in“Gears of War 3,” jumping into“The Gunstringer” with Kinect, conquering“Age of Empires Online” on Games for Windows– LIVE, hacking 3-D enemies with“The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile,” or connecting on-the-go with Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360 and Microsoft are delivering an exciting line-up of experiences this spring and through 2011 that lets you game where you want, when you want, how you want.

Announced today, the“Gears of War 3” public multiplayer beta will open in mid-April, giving fans the opportunity to help shape this year’s biggest blockbuster, launching worldwide on 20 September. Also, launching this spring,“The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile” will feature full 3-D support on Xbox LIVE Arcade as the sequel to 2009’s award-winning indie fan-favourite. And the arrival of“Must Have Games” for Windows Phone 7 on 6 April ensures that mobile hits like“Doodle Jump” and PopCap’s“Plants vs Zombies” are always within arm’s reach.

Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE fuel the passions of console gamers everywhere with a blockbuster line-up of new titles and game add-ons:

·         “Gears of War 3” (Epic Games)– Kicking off in mid-April, the“Gears of War 3” public multiplayer beta will give fans a chance to experience three new Versus Multiplayer modes on four new maps, and help shape the year’s biggest blockbuster, set to launch worldwide on 20 September and in Japan on 22 September. Fans can even decide which maps they’d like to see in the beta starting today by visiting the“Gears of War” Facebook page ( facebook.com/gearsofwar) and voting on their favourites. But hurry, voting ends on 28 February.

·         “Halo: Reach” Defiant Map Pack (Certain Affinity, 343 Industries)– Available on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points on 15 March, the“Halo: Reach” Defiant Map Pack introduces three stunning new battlefields for the most critically acclaimed shooter of 2010. Set in the heat of the legendary Battle of Reach, the three new warfronts– Condemned, Highlands and Unearthed– are primed for non-stop action in Firefight and all competitive multiplayer modes.

·         Halo Waypoint– Looking for more ways to share your best“Halo” victories with friends? Fire up Halo Waypoint on Windows Phone 7 or HaloWaypoint.com today to check out the new stat-tracking features, which allow you to share your in-game stats on the web and compare against friends from the palm of your hand.

·         “Fable III” Traitor’s Keep game add-on (Lionhead Studios)– Available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 560 Microsoft Points on 1 March, the Traitor’s Keep game add-on continues the journey as fans venture into three new levels called Ravenscar Keep, Clockwork Island, and the Godwin Estate, taking on new quests and encountering a mysterious prisoner. Traitor’s Keep also comes packed with 250 gamerscore points and additional content.

·         “Crysis 2” 3-D (Crytek, Electronic Arts)– Stunning in either HD or 3-D,“Crysis 2” from Crytek and Electronic Arts, lets players step into a post-apocalyptic world where alien invaders stalk the streets of New York City. With 12 multiplayer maps and six modes on Xbox LIVE, wield the supersoldier enhancements of the Nanosuit 2 when“Crysis 2” launches on Xbox 360 on 25 March.

·         “Homefront” (Kaos Studios, THQ)– The new action-packed first person shooter“Homefront,” from Kaos Studios and THQ, asks civilians to stand united, fight back and defend their“Homefront.” All“Homefront” game add-ons will appear first on Xbox LIVE, and at launch on 18 March, Xbox 360 versions of the game will exclusively feature the Suburbs map.

·         “Child of Eden” (Q Entertainment/Ubisoft)– Winner of several E3 awards,“Child of Eden” is a multi-sensory shooter from the mind of renowned game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi that will send players diving into a kaleidoscopic matrix of synchronised music and mind-blowing visuals. Since“Child of Eden” was designed with Kinect for Xbox 360 in mind, only on Xbox 360 players will experience the controller-free magic that provides a new dimension of immersion when the game launches later this year.

·         “Batman: Arkham City” (Rocksteady Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment)– Launching this fall,“Batman: Arkham City” builds on the foundation of the award-winning“Batman: Arkham Asylum,” sending players into Arkham City, the new maximum security home for all of Gotham City's thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds.

·         “SHIFT 2: UNLEASHED” (Slightly Mad Studios, Electronic Arts)– The seventeenth game in the“Need for Speed” series,“SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED” features an all-new rendering engine and graphics overhaul, innovative helmet camera, night racing, and authentic degradation of cars and environments to deliver the most realistic racing experience. When it launches on 1 April, Xbox LIVE members will have a unique multiplayer experience where you can share stats, profiles, pictures and videos with the community of more than 30 million users via“Need for Speed’s” innovative rivalry-generating Autolog technology.

·         “Once Upon a Monster” (Double Fine Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)– In a truly original interactive experience, young players join Cookie Monster, Elmo and other Sesame Street characters as they explore a living storybook titled“Once Upon a Monster.” In the book, they make new zany monster friends from the“Once Upon a Monster” world and share in their adventures, solving problems, forging friendships and learning key life skills along the way. Parents and children literally become part of the whimsical storybook adventure by getting active together through dancing, jumping, flying and more.

·         “The Gunstringer” (Twisted Pixel Games)– From the developers that brought you award-winning hits like“Splosion Man,”“The Maw” and“Comic Jumper,” comes an all-new Kinect-exclusive title,“The Gunstringer” for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Take control of an undead marionette in an epic Wild West stage production that requires your puppeteering and quick draw shooting skills to exact revenge on the Gunstringer's enemies– all controller-free.

·         “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” The Da Vinci Disappearance game add-on (Ubisoft)– The Da Vinci Disappearance will include both single-player and multiplayer content for“Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.” After the fall of the Borgias in Rome, Ezio will embark on a relentless quest to save Leonardo Da Vinci from an underground cult. The multiplayer addition is the biggest expansion to the award-winning multiplayer yet, including one new map, four new characters and two new game modes.

·         “The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile” (Ska Studios)– Created by award-winning indie developer James Silva,“The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile” is the stylistic action platform sequel to 2009’s“Dead Samurai.” The exclusive Xbox LIVE Arcade title features solo and co-op campaigns, 50 intense arcade challenges, an almost endless Dish Challenge, and now for the first time, the combo-fuelled action will be playable in 3D. Grab your six foot long syringe and sharpen your cleavers, because it's about to get bloody.

·         “Beyond Good&Evil HD” (Ubisoft)– Releasing on 2 March, the fan-favourite“Beyond Good&Evil HD®” will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade in full HD for 800 Microsoft Points. Enter the futuristic world of year 2435, a world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and exposing the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom. Play as action-reporter Jade and capture the truth using stealth, force, and wits against a government that deceived you in this puzzle-solving action-adventure game.

·         “Torchlight” (Runic/Microsoft Game Studios)– A highly-regarded PC game with over 800,000 units sold to date,“Torchlight” is coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade on 9 March for 1200 Microsoft Points. Combat is more exciting with revamped controls and mechanics, new armour and quests! There's even an exclusive new pet for your character. Send a select goodie or two to your friends on Xbox LIVE to share the fun for the first time.

·         “Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime” (Atari)– Get ready to answer the call with“Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime” releasing on Xbox LIVE Arcade in March 2011. Team up with up to three other players, locally or online, to bust gigantic bosses and fend off a new supernatural threat. You’ll need the biggest ghostbusting arsenal you can use in this four-player adventure game. Who you gonna call?

Console blockbusters and downloadable hits shift beyond the living room with new experiences for Games for Windows– LIVE and Windows Phone 7:

·         “Fable III” for Windows (Lionhead Studios)– Launching in the UK and Ireland on 20 May,“Fable III” for Windows takes gamers back to Albion for the next instalment of the beloved“Fable” franchise.  Players can take advantage of the same great action found on the console game as well as a full 3-D functionality made possible by NVIDIA technology and a PC-exclusive hardcore mode which offers a higher level of difficulty.

·         “Age of Empires Online” for Windows (Gas Powered Games)– The next evolution in the best-selling real-time strategy franchise,“Age of Empires Online” invites players to create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the world.  With a robust free-to-play experience and a deep selection of premium content packs,“Age of Empires Online” is always evolving so you can choose the content that’s right for you and your budget.

·         “Fable Coin Golf” (Lionhead Studios)– Launching March exclusively on Windows Phone 7,“Fable: Coin Golf” draws upon the wealth of traditional British pub games and lets you transfer gold earned in the game to your“Fable III” game on either Xbox 360 or Windows. In addition, you can unlock three exclusive weapons that can be used in the Traitor’s Keep game add-on.

·         Must Have Games for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7: Kicking off this spring, this collection of the biggest names in mobile games brings you six weeks of hits, including “Plants vs Zombies” (PopCap), “Hydro Thunder Go” (Microsoft Game Studios), “Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I” (Microsoft Game Studios), “geoDefense” (Microsoft Game Studios) “Doodle Jump” (GameHouse) and more– all complete with Xbox LIVE Achievements, leaderboards and more.

Whether playing this year’s biggest blockbusters with a controller, jumping off the couch with Kinect, exploring new worlds with friends on a PC, or gaming with a mobile phone on-the-go, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows– LIVE and Windows Phone 7 will deliver a magical year for every gamer, connecting you with your entertainment in new ways and providing more ways to enjoy games than ever before.

-ENDS-

For additional information and assets, please visit our online press kit, press only: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Press/PressKits/2011-februaryshowcase

For new screenshots and b-roll footage of“Gears of War 3” and the“Halo: Reach” Defiant Map Pack (that are not in the Showcase online press kit), please visit: http://edelmanadmin.psni.com/public/February%20Showcase

For consumer media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Rippin / 020 3047 4018 / rebecca_rippin@jcpr.com

Baz Singh / 020 3047 4024 / baz_singh@jcpr.com                    

For specialist media enquiries, please contact:

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