Today at X06, Microsoft announced a partnership with Peter Jackson, the HD-DVD player price, an exclusive Splinter Cell game, exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV content and much, much more.

At the Microsoft X06 event, the company dropped a huge amount of new information on the press during the keynote speech. So much, in fact, that it must be written in bullet-point form. The important parts will be bold.

· A landmark partnership announced between Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The first series will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the Halo universe. The second series will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios will partner with Jackson and Walsh to establish Wingnut Interactive, a studio dedicated to the creation of world-class interactive entertainment.

· Halo Wars is an all-new real-time strategy game based on the legendary Halo universe and designed exclusively for Xbox 360 by Ensemble Studios, creators of the Age of Empires franchise.

· Rockstar and Take-Two announced they will provide Xbox 360 gamers with exclusive access to two downloadable, epic episodes of Grand Theft Auto IV via Xbox Live, each with hours of entirely new gameplay and available only on Xbox 360 just months after the release of the title.

· Ubisoft confirmed that the next Splinter Cell title, the next installment in the series after Splinter Cell Double Agent, will be a console-exclusive on Xbox 360, a testament to the ability of Xbox 360 to deliver a complete experience no other console can match.

· 2K Games confirmed that BioShock, a revolution in the genre that will forever change the expectations for first-person shooters, will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 and Microsoft® Windows® next spring.

· Project Gotham Racing 4, the latest addition to the best-selling racing franchise from Bizarre Creations exclusively for Xbox 360, was unveiled. Project Gotham Racing 4 promises to continue the “Project Gotham Racing” pedigree of innovation by introducing exciting new experiences to racing fans worldwide.

· The beloved Banjo-Kazooie® franchise will breathe new, high-definition life on Xbox 360 exclusively from famed developer Rare Ltd.; astonishing next-generation visuals and presentation reunite beloved characters Banjo, Kazooie and Gruntilda – among other fan favorites – with their sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor.

· Microsoft Game Studios announced its highly anticipated new massively multiplayer online game, Marvel Universe Online for Xbox 360 and the Windows Vista? operating system, developed by industry luminaries Cryptic Studios, creators of the smash hit City of Heroes.

· Two additions to Xbox Live Arcade were announced: the first-person shooter that pioneered the network-gaming era, DOOM, from acclaimed developer id Software and Activision, is available today for download via Xbox Live Arcade. The game includes the original four-episode, single-player game, four-player split screen (cooperative and deathmatch) and four-player cooperative and deathmatch over Xbox Live. Also coming to Xbox Live Arcade soon is Sensible World of Soccer from Codemasters. Based on the classic 1994 Amiga title, Sensible World of Soccer will let gamers choose between the original graphics or an updated, high-resolution look and feel – while still capturing the original’s entire world of football.

· Arriving at retailers in North America, the U.K, France and Germany in mid-November 2006, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player will retail for $199.99 in North America (estimated retail price)* and €199.99/£129.99 (estimated retail price)* in the U.K., France and Germany. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player comes with the Universal Pictures’ blockbuster film Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” on HD DVD (for a limited time) and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

X06 is just getting started, more details on specific announcements are sure to follow.

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