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Microsoft X02 details

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Dazzla    5

First up, Perfect Dark 2 has been announced as an Xbox exclusive, this was the biggie that MS wanted. Secondly, Kameo, previously coming to Gamecube has been snatched up and will be the first Rare game on Xbox.

This was all shown off tonight at X02.

In a statement made from Seville, Spain, where the announcement was made to both a live and worldwide webcast audience during the company's annual X02 event, Chris Stamper, chairman and technical director of Rare, said, "Our mission at Rare has always been to make the industry's best games for the widest possible audience. Teaming with Microsoft gives us the best opportunity to accomplish this goal. Microsoft's dedication and commitment to game creators, research and development, and to gaming innovation made them the obvious partner to take Rare into the future."

"We've always insisted on pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity," added Tim Stamper, co-founder and creative director of Rare. "And now we get the chance to create for Xbox."

Rare co-founders Chris and Tim Stamper and their talented team of game developers and designers will continue to work out of Rare in Warwickshire, England. Rare was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the Stamper brothers and Joel Hochberg, now Rare president.

"This partnership significantly broadens our already outstanding portfolio of games that will be available for Xbox. And it also broadens our reach internationally as gamers around the world have demonstrated their fanaticism for what Rare consistently produces," said Robbie Bach, Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft.

"The last time I was this excited was the first time I picked up a controller and played a game from Rare," said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft. "As a gamer, you could hardly wait until Rare's next title was announced. You didn't know what genre it would be, but it didn't matter because you knew you were going to love it."

Rare grabbed the attention of the video game world in 1994 with its creation of "Donkey Kong Country." Selling more than 8 million copies, "DKC" went on to become the biggest-selling 16-bit title in history.

Rare became one of the premiere developers in the world, with sales averaging 1.4 million units per title and nearly 90 million games sold since the company was founded. Five of the top 20 all-time-best-selling N64 titles were developed by Rare, including "GoldenEye 007," the second-best-selling game in North America, with worldwide sales topping 8 million.

With today's announcement, Rare becomes the latest member of a star-studded lineup at Microsoft Game Studios, joining such prestigious worldwide developers as Bungie Studios, the masterminds behind the smash hit "Halo," named Game of the Year by Electronic Gaming Monthly. Rare's first creation for Xbox, "Kameo," is expected to reach store shelves next spring. Also under development is the highly anticipated sequel to "Perfect Dark." The company is expecting to develop at least five games over the next two years in a variety of genres, including racing, shooters and platformers.

Microsoft now own the following IP's:

Kameo, Conker, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Blast Corps, Saber Corps, and many other Rare titles

http://www.xbox.com/news/0209/rarepressrelease.htm

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Dazzla    5
European Xbox live details

Details of Microsoft?s European Xbox Live service have emerged this morning courtesy of broadband partner Telewest. The service will begin beta testing between October 30th and November 29th, with an open test from November 30th as part of "Xbox Live Test Drive" in the UK, France and Germany.

The Test Drive phase will see gamers in the three chosen countries able to order Test Drive packs online, which includes everything the regular starter pack will; voice communicator, software and 12 months' pre-paid subscription - however, months leading up to the official launch will be free! The 12 months' subscription begins on the official launch date.

The full service will launch in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden on the first anniversary of the system?s release in Europe ? March 14th, 2003 ? and the Xbox Live starter pack will go on sale then for ?39.99 / ?59.99. This includes 12 months' subscription, all the software, the Xbox voice communicator peripheral and Xbox Live-enabled copies of MotoGP and Whacked.

Xbox Live will be supported in Europe by BT Openworld, Noos, NTL, Telewest Broadband and Wanadoo.

NTL Connection kit detailsdetails

NTL was among the companies mentioned in Microsoft?s Xbox Live rollout plans earlier today, and the firm has since confirmed its intentions and announced its plans for dealing with the service.

An NTL connection kit will allow customers the option of having their PC and Xbox connected and in use at the same time ? a critical measure to bypass the potential stumbling block of MAC address-based security systems, which initially concerned many including us.

Sadly though, NTL did not reveal how the connection kit will be made available ? whether it will be free for customers or available at a small cost ? and we couldn?t get hold of them this evening to confirm.

NTL is also keen to point out that many of its customers use a set-top box directly connected to their PC for cable internet, and that this is an ideal position for Xbox Live users.

Xbox Live will also be supported in Europe by BT Openworld, Noos, Telewest Broadband and WanadoS controller to officially launch in Europe launch in Europe

Microsoft has announced that Controller S, the smaller alternative Xbox controller released in Japan and the US this year, will be released in Europe on November 1st priced ?24.99 / ?39.99.

Controller S differs from the original Xbox controller (which will continue to ship with new Xbox consoles) in several key ways. First of all, it?s much smaller than the original and only slightly larger than Sony?s Dual Shock II, and perhaps most significantly, the diamond of buttons on the right has been tweaked so that the buttons are in a more traditional configuration. To make room for the larger diamond on the smaller pad, Microsoft has moved the black and white secondary buttons to the bottom right of the pad, and the back and start buttons to the opposite side beneath the left analogue stick. Other improvements included a modified directional pad, and larger surface areas on both analogue sticks.

controller-s.jpg

Phew, personally, I'm glad to see the S controller being released and Xbox live in Europe not being third rate.

Kameo Xbox screens:

http://pub111.ezboard.com/fgamingageforums...cID=17574.topic

Looks pretty bad, mind you, they could only have been working on the Xbox hardware for a few months at the most. They've got a year to iron it all out.

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JnCoKiLLa    0

nice to her....I guess now i get to play that game for the first time on my Box

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o_87    0

this is very cool... will get to play Perfect Dark 2! w00t! :D

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phantomAI    0

when is XBOX price going to drop? PD 2 great addition. If only Rare made Killer Instinct on XBox.

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