By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
REDMOND, WASH. -Electronic Arts, one of the largest developers and publishers of video games, said it would immediately begin developing titles for Microsoft's forthcoming Xbox video game console, currently scheduled for a fall 2001 introduction.
Through the agreement, EA said, it expects to publish up to 10 titles supporting the system's launch. The developer said it would immediately start to work on Xbox titles and has ordered 500 Xbox development kits from Microsoft.
As a member of Microsoft's Xbox Advisory Board, EA said, it "worked closely with Microsoft, providing feedback on the development of Xbox as an ideal platform for developers, a compelling business for publishers and an unrivaled gaming experience for consumers."
Microsoft said it has secured more than 200 top game companies to develop and publish content for Xbox, and more than 18 developers have committed to making exclusive Xbox titles for the Microsoft label. To market Xbox, Microsoft has committed $500 million, which will benefit all development partners.
In tandem with the fall launch, Microsoft plans to extensively promote the benefits of its future-generation game console that offers enhanced audio and "three times the graphics performance of the newest generation of game consoles," the company said. It will also offer extensive multiplayer gaming capabilities.
"When we saw the hardware specification and talked to the Xbox team, we knew that this console was going to be popular with novice and hard-core gamers alike," said Don Mattrick, EA Worldwide Studio Operations president. "Titles like Madden NFL 2001, SSX snowboarding and Knockout Kings boxing are going to look great on Xbox."
EA develops games for multiple gaming platforms and PCs. It is most recognized for such titles as the Madden NFL Football series, NASCAR 2000, FIFA and F1 2000 racing.
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