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Halo 2 Shipping to 27 Countries in Eight Languages

Microsoft Game Studios announced that HALO 2 for Xbox has gone gold and will ship simultaneously over three days to 27 countries in eight languages. HALO 2 will be available on Nov. 9, 2004, throughout North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The sequel to the award-winning HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED by Bungie, will be available in France, Belgium and Switzerland on November 10, as well as in Japan and the rest of Europe on November 11.

In HALO 2, Master Chief, with the help of a small group of marines, has destroyed the religious artifact and artificial world known as Halo, and is making his way back to Earth. Upon arrival, he and the last surviving Earth forces will mount a titanic final struggle against the marauding Covenant armada.

HALO 2 features new technological and gameplay advances to push the Xbox hardware to its very limits. Better graphics, enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), an advanced realtime lighting engine and destructible interactive environments are just a small part of Halo 2s evolution of design and technology.

Utilizing Xbox Live to redefine online play, HALO 2 promises to deliver improved online multiplayer capabilities. Whether playing with a clan on a new multiplayer map, boarding a friend's Warthog, dogfighting in Banshees or checking player stats, HALO 2 will bring the social experience to a higher level via Xbox Live. The game is available in eight languages, including English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (traditional), Spanish, French, German and Italian. More information about Halo 2 is available at www.halo2.com.

Bungie (www.bungie.net) was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve the real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it produced games such as the MARATHON TRILOGY and the first two MYTH games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED, its latest game, has achieved phenomenal success on the Microsoft Xbox videogame system.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for Xbox and Windows and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as AGE OF EMPIRES, FLIGHT SIMULATOR and ZOO TYCOON; Xbox (www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as HALO, PROJECT GOTHAM RACING and MECHASSAULT; and Zone.com (www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as BEJEWELED and OUTSMART.

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