More Japanese Game Luminaries Pick Next-Generation Xbox Platform
REDMOND, Wash. — March 2, 2005 — In another creative coup for its next-generation Xbox® platform, Microsoft Corp. today announced that esteemed video game developers Yoshiki Okamoto, president and CEO of Game Republic Inc., and Tetsuya Mizuguchi, chief creative officer and producer of Q Entertainment Inc., have aligned with Microsoft Game Studios to develop exclusive next-generation Xbox games. The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s news that video game legend Hironobu Sakaguchi, president of Mistwalker game studio, has joined with Microsoft Game Studios to develop role-playing games exclusively for the next-generation Xbox platform.

For more than 20 years, Okamoto has been thrilling gamers with franchises such as “Street Fighter” and “Resident Evil.” Widely considered an industry pioneer, Okamoto is best known for his ability to conceive and drive completely new game genres. In July 2003, he founded Game Republic, where he and his team have next-generation Xbox exclusive titles currently in development.

“My goal in creating these games is to make completely fresh and riveting experiences that gamers have never had before,” Okamoto said. “With the next-generation Xbox platform, I can turn this vision into a reality.”

Mizuguchi, who founded Q Entertainment in 2003, is the creative force behind a litany of innovative blockbusters including “SEGA Rally Championship,” “Rez” and “Space Channel 5.” Gamers worldwide have long been attracted to Mizuguchi’s distinctive style that blends music and action.

“By combining various factors, including exciting storylines, action, graphics and music, I’ve created video games that have brought gamers the ultimate fun in gaming,” Mizuguchi said. “Now, I hope to create games that will give gamers the most emotional and thrilling gaming experience possible — joy, thrills, sympathy and speed. The power and advanced technologies of the next-generation Xbox platform will enable winning games with powerful emotions, high-quality graphics and sound.”

The addition of Mizuguchi and Okamoto further reveals Microsoft’s strategy for attracting Japanese gamers. Perhaps more important, it underscores a growing preference among the world’s most talented game developers for the next-generation Xbox platform. Last week, the company announced that Mistwalker, a studio run by the legendary Hironobu Sakaguchi, will develop two exclusive titles for Microsoft.

“We are excited for Mizuguchi-san and Okamoto-san to develop next-generation Xbox games unlike anything the world has ever seen,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for Microsoft. “Gamers will be riveted by the experiences enabled by such creators when given the proper canvas and tools.”

About Xbox
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live™ online service. The tag line, “It’s good to play together,” captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

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.

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Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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