Viva Piñata On Sale TodayBreaking new ground in Xbox 360 family entertainment, “Viva Piñata” was shipped to stores on Nov. 9, and it will continue to be rolled out to retailers throughout the U.S. and worldwide through Dec. 2. Created by world-renowned video game developer Rare Ltd. and Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, the two-disc “Viva Piñata” Special Edition invites game-players to escape to Piñata Island, where wild-roaming, living piñata animals are looking for a home. “With the arrival of ‘Viva Piñata,’ we’re opening up Xbox 360 to new audiences and inviting more people to jump into the fun,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “This is a game that will have broad appeal. Families will play it together. Kids will play it by day, and, I’m willing to bet, their parents will play it at night. Even for the seasoned gamer, ‘Viva Piñata’ will be a great escape, and they’ll see it as a guilty pleasure.” People of all ages will enjoy the vibrant world where they can create and customize their own environment to attract, tame and nurture more than 60 species of wild piñata and make their experience uniquely their own. Packed with hundreds of personalization options, “Viva Piñata” lets people name their piñatas, choose accessories for them to wear, decide where to plant grass and flowers, and more. The colorful, fully customizable game invites people into a world with all kinds of possibilities. People first experienced the world of “Viva Piñata” in September, with the debut of the Saturday-morning computer-generated animation series produced by 4Kids Entertainment and Bardel Entertainment on 4Kids TV on FOX. The arrival of “Viva Piñata” for Xbox 360 establishes a crossover between the show and the game as people, young and old, tune in to the series to pick up hints and tricks to take back to the game. “Viva Piñata” gameplay will be extended through the Xbox Live® online entertainment network. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to connect with friends, family or other players from around the globe to trade items from their piñata paradise — everything from the smallest plant to the largest piñata. Players with the free Xbox Live Silver membership also can trade items. And Xbox Live will offer accessories for download into the game to personalize piñata collections. The genesis of the “Viva Piñata” franchise came from Rare Ltd., known for such all-age-friendly games as “Banjo-Kazooie®” and “Grabbed by the Ghoulies®.” Veteran developers of these games, as well as a new crop of talent, worked together to craft “Viva Piñata” into the fun-filled game available now on store shelves. “Right from the start, we knew we wanted to create a game that featured a garden full of customizable, tradable animals with unique appearances and behavior patterns,” said Gregg Mayles, lead designer for “Viva Piñata” at Rare Ltd. “When we were looking for a design twist to make it stand out, our concept artist came up with piñata-themed sketches, and the look immediately stuck.” Additional “Viva Piñata” products are expected to debut in fall 2007, with Playmates Toys Inc. and American Greetings Corp. already on board for toys and party goods. The latest information about “Viva Piñata” is available at http://www.vivapinata.com, the virtual island where gamers can find hints and tips for the Xbox 360 video game, get the latest updates on the 4Kids TV animated TV series, and score exclusive extras including games, activities, ring tones and avatars. “Viva Piñata” from Rare and Microsoft Game Studios is rated “E” for Everyone and is available exclusively on Xbox 360. The game started being shipped on Nov. 9, and will be on store shelves by the following week with an estimated retail price of $49.99. The two-disc “Viva Piñata” Special Edition Xbox 360 game, available for a limited time, will include a second disc with playable demos of LucasArts’ “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy,” the arcade classic “Frogger” as well as family favorites “Cloning Clyde,” “Time Pilot” and “Marble Blast.” In addition, a full-length episode from the zany, anything-can-happen animated TV series “Viva Piñata” is also included.