E3 2005: 360 Hits All CylindersE3 2005 News Conference: Microsofts 360 Hits All Cylinders Square Enix commits to Xbox 360; limited backward compatibility confirmed; full EA support, 160 Xbox 360 titles in development. First details. May 16, 2005 - Microsoft launched yet another cannonball into the looming next generation battlefield with huge commitments and by confirming major deals to secure the potential lead it needs to foist competitor Sony Computer Entertainment from its leading market position. At its pre-E3 new conference, Microsoft confirmed three major milestones: Japanese RPG giant Square Enix will create role-playing games for Xbox 360, starting with Final Fantasy XI with full Xbox Live compatibility. The games content will remain the same, but obviously the graphics will see immense changes and improvements. Additional Square Enix games will follow. "Were honored that Square Enix will make games like Final Fantasy XI for the millions of Xbox fans who have anticipated this historical moment for quite some time," said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer in the Home and Entertainment Division at Microsoft. "Together, we will chart a new course for the future of video game entertainment." "Xbox has become a major force in video-game innovation, and we couldnt be more captivated by the Xbox 360 canvas," said Yoichi Wada, president of Square Enix. "As the worlds first cross-platform online game with more than 500,000 users, FINAL FANTASY XI will take advantage of the incredible power of the Xbox 360 platform, immersing gamers in spellbinding stories that come to life in high definition and through collaborative online gameplay." Xbox 360 officially will be backward compatible with the prior systems top-selling games, said Microsofts Vice President Peter Moore. Microsoft will pick and choose only the most popular Xbox titles from its huge backlist of games and will most likely use emulator software for those limited titles. Microsoft and Electronic Arts will continue their working relationship into the future with the largest commitment of games at launch in console history. In development for Xbox 360 are Need For Speed: Most Wanted, The Godfather The Game, Madden NFL 2006, NBA Live 2006, Tiger Woods PGA Golf 2006, FIFA Soccer 2006, and more. EA currently has 25 games in development for Xbox 360, with more to come. Microsoft s first- and second-party development teams are running full force with Epic Games Gears of War, Rares Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero, MGSs Project Gotham Racing 3, Phantagrams Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes, Mistwalkers Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, and Q Entertainments Ninety-Night Nights. Gamers will also be able to experience a host of games from third-party publishers, including Call of Duty 2, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Dead or Alive 4, Dead Rising, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Full Auto, Saints Row, Test Drive, and Quake IV. There are more than 160 in development for Xbox 360 from first-, second-, and third-party teams. Namco, Konami and Capcom (Dead Rising) are officially supporting the console as well. Microsoft plans to launch its console with between 25 to 40 Xbox 360 games using a launch window that spans the first 90 days from launch. Neither the launch date and nor the price were revealed. Following these three pillars of huge import, Microsoft balanced its Xbox 360 news with strong support for the Xbox 1. Moore announced Microsoft will have 2 million Xbox Live Subscribers by fiscal year end (June). The system will have more than 300 multiplayer titles by years end, and 200 titles in full on the system by end of the year, with hundreds more in development for 2006. Games such as Tony Hawks American Wasteland, Star Wars Battlefront II and Burnout Revenge will appear on Xbox Live. These are just the first details from Microsofts news conference. So dont fret, well have more details very, very soon.