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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Microsoft Unites Xbox and PC Gamers

Microsoft will extend the Xbox LIVE games and entertainment network to the Windows platform with the launch of the Windows Vista version of the Xbox blockbuster "Halo 2" on May 8, 2007.

Then, launching in June, "Shadowrun" will for the first time connect Windows gamers with Xbox 360 players in cross-platform matches using a single service. "UNO," releasing later in 2007, will also support cross-platform play between Windows and Xbox 360.

The launch of Games for Windows - LIVE marks a major expansion of the Xbox LIVE service across multiple platforms, uniting gamers with a single identity, a single gamertag, a single friends list and a single list of achievements attainable on the Xbox 360 and a Windows-based PC. Games for Windows - LIVE gamers will be able to easily find and play supported titles online with their friends across a Windows computer or an Xbox 360. As a unified service with Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows - LIVE will be available in every country and region supported today by Xbox LIVE.

Members of Xbox LIVE automatically receive the functionality of Games for Windows - LIVE, using the same gamertag and friends list at no additional cost. For a single, unified service, the pricing of the LIVE services across both Xbox and Games for Windows is identical. In addition, Games for Windows - LIVE introduces the best of Xbox LIVE functionality to please PC gamers, such as in-game voice chat, integrated achievements and dedicated servers. The offering of both Silver and Gold memberships will remain in place for gamers on the Xbox 360 and Windows PC. There is no cost associated with signing up for a Silver membership. Gold memberships will deliver the premium online network experience for $49.95 (U.S.) per year. Current Xbox LIVE Gold members will automatically have access to Gold features on Games for Windows - LIVE titles.

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