Microsoft’s Halo for PC launched today

With its rich storyline and intense gameplay, “Halo” is considered by many to be the benchmark against which other games are judged. Optimized for the Windows platform and leveraging the power of Microsoft DirectX® 9.0 application programming interface, “Halo” enables gamers across the globe to live the incredible sci-fi epic adventure that elevated the original “Halo” for the Xbox® video game system into gaming legend status.

“With more than 3 millions copies sold worldwide, ‘Halo’ is the most successful Xbox game ever and is now available on Windows,” said Ed Fries, corporate vice president at Microsoft Games Studio. “‘Halo’ brings the excitement of the award-winning game to PC gamers with additional features, including enhanced graphics, and new, online multiplayer capabilities.”

For the first time, gamers can challenge one another online competitively or cooperatively. “Halo” for Windows supports as many as 16 players online and has a multitude of new multiplayer features. Gamers can use the all-new Rocket Launcher Warthog and flying Banshee in battles for online dominance through 19 multiplayer maps including six all-new maps.

“The ‘Halo’ team at Gearbox is fired up to unleash ‘Halo’ on PC gamers,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “The entire crew at Gearbox can’t wait for launch day to go online and play with our customers using all the unique maps, weapons and features that are exclusive to the Windows version of Halo.”

In addition to supporting Internet play and local area networks, Microsoft has set aside dedicated servers for “Halo” to allow hoards of gamers to compete against each other in thrilling, online multiplayer games. These dedicated servers offer gamers a simple way to connect online hassle-free.

In conjunction with the launch of “Halo,” iGames and the Cyberathlete Professional League® (CPL) are organizing tournaments to determine the ultimate “Halo” gamers.

The CPL (http://www.thecpl.com/) will host the NVIDIA $30,000 “Halo” for Windows

Championship Dec. 16–20, 2003, at The CPL Pentium® 4 Processor Winter 2003 Championships in Dallas, Texas.

Microsoft, with the help of iGames services, also plans to support the launch of “Halo” with a worldwide tournament starting in November 2003 and culminating in January 2004. Gamers will compete for prizes with an estimated value in excess of $30,000, plus the ultimate grand prize of being crowned “The Worlds Best ‘Halo’ Player.”

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