Games for Windows to get beefy lineup

by: Dan -
At the E3 press conference, it was announced that more than 60 new titles are coming to Microsoft's Games for Windows, including 12 Live enabled games.  It was a big announcement, as only two live enabled titles exist today in Halo 2 and Shadowrun.  The biggest piece was Gear of War, which will have five new chapters on Vista based PCs (The press release and Cliffy B both mentioned XP, but Chuck confirmed with MS PR that no XP version will exist, it isn't live enabled...as of yet).  See the full release after the jump:
Gaming on Windows better than ever with more than 60 branded titles and more than 12 Games for Windows - LIVE titles, including "Gears of War."

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - July 10, 2007 - Kick-starting the E3 Media & Business Summit (E3) in Santa Monica with a bang, Microsoft Corp. unveiled incredible momentum for the Games for Windows® initiative, announcing nearly 30 new titles carrying the Games for Windows brand, including the addition of games from major publishers such as Activision Inc., Bethesda Softworks® and Midway Home Entertainment Inc. Microsoft also announced strong support for the Games for Windows - LIVE online service, with Eidos Interactive Ltd., SEGA of America Inc. and THQ Inc. signed on to deliver titles this year. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios unveiled plans to bring "Gears of War," the best-selling Xbox 360(tm) game of 2006, and the hit game "Viva Piñata®" to Microsoft® Windows XP and Windows Vista® gamers this year as Games for Windows-branded titles with LIVE support.

"Windows gaming is set to see one of its best years ever," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "With an incredible range of phenomenal titles, amazing hardware and the rapid adoption of Windows Vista, Windows gamers will remember holiday 2007 as a landmark year for PC gaming."

A Driving Force: Games for Windows

Microsoft's Games for Windows initiative is in full swing and is set to deliver its strongest Windows portfolio lineup ever this holiday. Microsoft announced nearly 30 new Games for Windows-branded titles and will bring more than 60 Games for Windows-branded titles to store shelves this holiday, including the highly anticipated releases "Crysis," "Hellgate: London," "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" and "World in Conflict." With approximately 2.5 million units of Games for Windows-branded titles already sold worldwide, the biggest names in gaming, including Electronic Arts Inc., Atari Inc., Midway, SEGA, 2K Games and Activision, have committed to publish titles that deliver the quality, compatibility and safety features offered by games carrying the Games for Windows brand. New titles announced at E3 include:

 *   "Age of Empires® III: The Asian Dynasties" (Microsoft Game Studios)
 *   "Bee Movie(tm) Game" (Activison)
 *   "BlackSite: Area 51" (Midway Games)
 *   "Clive Barker's Jericho(tm)" (Codemasters)
 *   "The Club" (SEGA)
 *   "Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts" (THQ)
 *   "Empire Earth® 3" (Sierra Entertainment)
 *   "Fallout® 3" (Bethesda Softworks®)
 *   "Flight Simulator X: Acceleration" (Microsoft Game Studios)
 *   "Gears of War" (Microsoft Game Studios)
 *   "Hour of Victory" (Midway Games)
 *   "John Woo Presents Stranglehold" (Midway Games)
 *   "Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights" (THQ)
 *   "Kane & Lynch: Dead Men" (Eidos)
 *   "Nancy Drew®: Legend of Crystal Skull" (Her Interactive Inc.)
 *   "Operation Flashpoint(tm) 2" (Codemasters)
 *   "Rise of the Argonauts" (Codemasters)
 *   "Rogue Warrior" (Bethesda Softworks)
 *   "SEGA Rally Revo" (SEGA)
 *   "Sid Meier's Civilization IV®: Beyond the SwordTM" (2K Games)
 *   "Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Gold Edition" (2K Games)
 *   "Spider-Man(tm): Friend or Foe" (Activision)
 *   "Star Wars® Empire at War®: Gold Pack" (LucasArts)
 *   "The Witcher" (Atari)
 *   "Thrillville(tm): Off the Rails(tm)" (LucasArts)
 *   "Turning Point(tm): Fall of Liberty" (Codemasters)
 *   "Universe at War: Earth Assault(tm)" (SEGA)
 *   "Viva Piñata" (Microsoft Game Studios)
 *   "Zoo Tycoon® 2: Extinct Animals" (Microsoft Game Studios)

In addition, Eidos, SEGA and THQ announced their intention to join Microsoft Game Studios in supporting the Games for Windows - LIVE online service for Windows XP and Windows Vista. The first wave of titles to support the service includes the following:

 *   "The Club" (SEGA)
 *   "Gears of War" (Microsoft Game Studios)
 *   "Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights" (THQ)
 *   "Kane & Lynch: Dead Men" (Eidos)
 *   "Universe at War: Earth Assault" (SEGA)
 *   "Viva Piñata" (Microsoft Game Studios)

Microsoft Game Studios is set to bring the critically acclaimed "Gears of War" and "Viva Piñata" to the Windows platform, both of which will support Games for Windows - LIVE. "Gears of War" will emerge on Windows XP-based and Windows Vista-based PCs this holiday with five new campaign chapters, a new multiplayer mode and a new game editor that will unleash the creativity of "Gears of War" players - only available for Windows. "Gears of War" will also take advantage of DirectX® 10 graphics technology, which is only available on Windows Vista. Also today, Epic Games unveiled the addition of Games for Windows - LIVE integration to the award winning Unreal® Engine 3. This landmark announcement will make it easier than ever for game developers using Epic's next-generation technology to take advantage of Microsoft's online gaming network.

Games for Windows - LIVE titles enable gamers to easily find and communicate with their friends online, earn Achievements and play with others on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Xbox 360. The free Silver membership delivers the value that PC gamers expect from an online service, offering free PC-to-PC multiplayer support and in-game voice chat, while going beyond with single-player support, including Achievements and a consistent Gamertag and Friends List across games. For the gamer looking to take it to the next level, the Gold membership, which costs around $4 a month with an annual subscription, includes all the Silver Membership features and adds cross-platform gameplay in select games, TrueSkill(tm) matchmaking and more. Current Xbox LIVE members' accounts automatically have the equivalent membership on Games for Windows - LIVE, with the same Gamertag they use on Xbox LIVE. By the end of this year, gamers on Windows XP and Windows Vista will have at least a dozen Games for Windows - LIVE-enabled titles to chose from, with many more slated for 2008 and beyond.

Gaming on the New Frontier: Windows Vista

Windows Vista has rapidly been embraced as Microsoft's best version of Windows ever for gaming. After just seven months, nearly 10 million gamers are now running Windows Vista worldwide. Fans of great gaming hardware for Windows will also have some of the best choices ever with announcements from Commodore Gaming and Toshiba America Inc. Commodore Gaming will introduce a new line of high-end custom-gaming PCs that ship exclusively with Windows Vista, DirectX 10 hardware, a Games for Windows - LIVE title and one month of Games for Windows - LIVE Gold membership with every PC shipped through the end of the year. Toshiba America also previewed its first line of DirectX 10-compatible laptops, bringing a no-compromise gaming experience to mobile computers.

At E3, Microsoft is demonstrating innovation and leadership across two of the world's most popular next-generation gaming platforms: Windows and Xbox 360. Xbox 360 gamers will enjoy the strongest console lineup in video game history with experiences that go beyond the box with Xbox LIVE Marketplace content. Windows gamers will have more high-quality choices than ever for gaming on their PC and online. Together, Microsoft's gaming platforms will deliver the best holiday season ever.
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