X360 publisher line-up revealed

Microsoft announces list of "gaming heavyweights".

With just over a month remaining until Microsoft reveals its next-gen console at E3, the company has unveiled what it describes as an "all-star line-up" of publishers already committed to Xbox 2, including the likes of EA, Rockstar, Ubisoft and Vivendi.

Microsoft says the new hardware will "deliver on the company's vision of the HD Era" by offering "high-definition graphics, extraordinary benefits of constant connectedness and exceptional personalization abilities."

In order to achieve this, Microsoft says, it has assembled a line-up of heavyweight publishers who have already collectively sold more than half a billion copies of titles for the current Xbox, and approximately 70 per cent of all console games sold in 2004.

"The key to bringing the vision for the HD Era of gaming to life is our partners: world-class publishers and developers that have molded and shaped the history of interactive entertainment for tens of millions of gamers worldwide," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Xbox global content and marketing.

"This stellar lineup of publishers and developers is poised to deliver games experiences our customers only dreamed were possible, and is ultimately committed to elevating video games to be the No. 1 form of entertainment."

The full list of publishers is as follows: 2K Games, Activision, Atari, Bandai, Bethesda Softworks, Buena Vista, Capcom, Codemasters, Eidos, Electronic Arts, FromSoftware, InterServ, KOEI, Konami, LucasArts, Majesco, Midway, Namco, Phantagram, Rockstar, SCi, SEGA, Tecmo, THQ, TWP, Ubisoft, Vivendi and Webzen.

Microsoft Game Studios - whose stable includes Bioware, Bizarre Creations, Bungie, Epic, FASA, Lionhead and Rare - will produce exclusive titles for Xbox 2. As will legendary Japanese developers Yoshiki Okamoto (Resident Evil, Street Fighter), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Lumines) and Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), all of whom have recently announced their commitment to the platform.

"The next-generation Xbox titles will provide exhilarating entertainment experiences that will drive the HD Era," said Microsoft.

"Gamers can expect technological advancements such as multichannel audio fidelity that will plunge them into a world so realistic, even the faintest enemy footsteps can be heard.

"These advancements will be fueled by richer online communication and by an abundance of on-demand content delivered by the Xbox Live service."

Microsoft went on to add that the announcement did not mean it was no longer committed to the current Xbox. "This year alone, Xbox publishers and developers will deliver more than 200 games to the platform," the company said. "Gamers can expect an amazing pipeline of titles into 2007."

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