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Diamond Announces Retail Monster 3D Gaming Accelerator Bundled with 10 Hot Titles This Halloween; Technology Partner 3Dfx Interactive Says 50+ Games Are in Development for Early 1997.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 1996--Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: DIMD), the world's leading supplier of PC graphics subsystems, this Halloween day announced the retail version of its Monster 3D(TM), a new 3D-only gaming accelerator that brings the same level of technology used in today's state-of-the-art video game arcades to personal computers.

Positioned for dedicated PC gamers, the Diamond Monster 3D is a 4MB pass-through 3D graphics subsystem that works seamlessly with most VGA and 2D Windows accelerators that users may already have in their PCs. The accelerator comes bundled with more than 10 frightfully popular games and will retail for approximately $299 this November. Also debuting is Diamond's first multimedia-based "shocked" audio file about the Monster 3D at www.diamondmm.com/monsterishere.

The Diamond Monster 3D utilizes 3Dfx Interactive's highly touted Voodoo Graphics(TM) engine, one of the highest performing 3D-only chipsets available to consumers. With Monster 3D, PC gamers can experience photo-realistic 3D graphics, lightening-fast, real-time action and incredible freedom of movement while playing today's most advanced 3D games.

Monster 3D's dedicated 3D engine delivers all the high-end 3D special effects gamers have come to demand, without compromising overall system performance (see accompanying chart). Previously, these advanced 3D features were only available in commercial arcade systems or professional workstations costing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Populated with 4MB of EDO DRAM, the new 3D subsystem supports Microsoft's Windows 95 and MS-DOS operating systems and accelerates games utilizing Microsoft's Direct3D API (Application Programming Interface), the de facto development standard for creating 3D titles under Windows 95; Glide, a popular API used for development of DOS, Windows and coin-op/arcade titles; and other leading APIs. This broad API support is important to developers who want to easily migrate their games from one platform to the other.

Scorching Hot 3D Game Bundle -- A Monster Value

Diamond will package more than 10 popular 3D games with the Monster 3D, including Activision's MechWarrior(R) 2 and Hyperblade; Criterion Studio's OEM version of Scorched Planet; Eidos Interactive's OEM versions of Tomb Raider; Interplay's Descent II: Destination Quartzon 3D, VR Soccer '96(TM) and Whiplash; and Ocean's EF2000; plus Microsoft's Game Sampler 2 for Windows 95, which contains a variety of Direct3D and DirectDraw game samples, including Hellbender and Monster Truck Madness (see attachments).

Numerous top game designers are currently working on titles utilizing Voodoo Graphics technology, promising a steady flow of games in the future. Gamers can expect to see more than 50 Voodoo Graphics-enhanced titles by early 1997, according to 3Dfx Interactive, in addition to all the Direct3D games coming to market.

Top game companies currently working on Voodoo Graphics-enhanced games include Argonaut/GTE Entertainment (FX Fighter), Criterion/Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Aqua'Tak), Digital Dialect/Playmates Interactive (Toshinden), Psygnosis (WipeOut XL, Formula 1) and Rocket Science (Rocket Jockey), among others. More than 125 developers have already joined the 3Dfx Total Immersion developer program.

"The Monster 3D's high performance 3D engine will meet the needs of even the most die-hard gamer," said David Watkins, vice president and general manager of Diamond Multimedia's Visual Systems Division. "We've included a selection of some of today's hottest 3D titles in the box so that gamers can begin enjoying their Monster 3D accelerator the minute they install it. The Monster 3D literally brings commercial arcade gaming to the PC."

"Immersive 3D graphics for the PC gamer have arrived with Diamond's Monster 3D," said Andy Keane, vice president of marketing of 3Dfx Interactive. "Diamond's driver design and speed enables Monster 3D to incorporate all of Voodoo Graphics' core and advanced 3D features. The result is games powered by arcade technology, bringing realistic 3D graphics and unprecedented performance to the PC gamer."

Product Features and Benefits

With 2MB of dedicated texture memory architecture and 2MB of frame buffer memory, the Monster 3D delivers advanced 3D rendering without sacrificing system performance. High-end 3D features include full-speed Z-buffering; perspective corrected texture mapping; bi-linear and tri-linear filtering; MIP-mapping; double-buffered Gouraud shading; texture compositing, morphing and animation; and per-pixel special effects for transparent and translucent objects.

Additionally, the Monster 3D features a Diamond-designed utility to change refresh rates and power levels. This unique utility gives the user the ability to select different performance levels when running their 3D games and applications.

Wide Industry Support

"Direct3D has gained acceptance in the developer community as the premier 3D API for games," said Kevin Dallas, DirectX group product manager for Microsoft's Internet Platform and Tools Division. "Diamond's Monster 3D takes maximum advantage of Direct3D to deliver compatibility and performance for the new Direct3D-based titles scheduled for the holiday season."

"Falcon Northwest will use only the fastest, highest quality, most compatible components in our gaming PCs. That's why we've chosen the Diamond Monster 3D," said Brent Caldwell, director of marketing and sales for Falcon Northwest Computer Systems, a leading high-end PC gaming system integrator. "The Monster 3D is yet another example of Diamond's ability to combine cutting-edge graphics with full compatibility and great support."

"Diamond is targeting gamer enthusiasts who are looking for high-performance 3D and better content," said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Associates, Tiburon, Calif. "Our research of the game ISVs indicates the Monster 3D's Voodoo Graphics engine is receiving strong support from the game development community. Combined with its Direct3D capability, gamers should have plenty of titles to use with this board."

"Diamond and Interplay have a long history of bringing the industry's most advanced gameplay to the PC," said Jill Goldworn, vice president, OEM, Licensing and Merchandising, Interplay Productions. "By providing our Descent II: Destination Quartzon 3D, Actua Soccer '96 and Whiplash titles with Diamond's Monster 3D, gamers can look forward to one of the most cutting-edge 3D gaming experience available today."

"The Voodoo Graphics architecture will enable MechWarrior 2 fans to experience high-polygon count graphics and ultra-realistic fast-action gameplay for a premium 3D entertainment experience," said Bobby Kotick, chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc.

"The Diamond Monster 3D complements perfectly Scorched Planet's fast paced all out action, full 360 degree movement and fully perspective textured landscapes. Scorched Planet is ideal in maximizing the benefits from the Monster 3D," said Mike King, VP marketing, Criterion Studios.

"The graphically intense worlds in Tomb Raider really come to life when the game is played using Diamond's Monster 3D with Voodoo Graphics technology," said Paul Baldwin, vice president of marketing at Eidos Interactive. "Diamond's Monster 3D provides PC gamers with the 3D power to completely immerse themselves in the incredible world of Tomb Raider."

Monster 3D will be available in November through distribution and retail channels. For more details, please contact the Diamond Multimedia web site at http://www.diamondmm.com.

Diamond Multimedia

Diamond Multimedia is driving the Internet multimedia market by providing interactive and connectivity solutions for home, business and professional desktop computer users, enabling them to create, access and experience compelling new media content from their desktops and through the Internet. Products include the Stealth and Monster 3D series of media accelerators, the Fire GL series of professional 3D and CAD accelerators, and the Supra(R) series of faxmodems and NetCommander(TM) ISDN adapters.

Diamond also markets sound cards and multimedia and Internet upgrade kits. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Diamond has sales, marketing and technical facilities in Vancouver (Wash.), Singapore, Tokyo, Starnberg (Germany), Clichy (France) and Winnersh (U.K.).

Diamond's products are sold through regional, national and international distributors as well as to major computer retailers, mass merchants and OEMs worldwide. Diamond's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol DIMD.

How to Contact Diamond Multimedia

There are many ways to reach Diamond for sales support, technical assistance, driver updates and general information: Internet Web Site: http://www.diamondmm.com Diamond Multimedia's Headquarters and Visual Systems Division: 408-325-7000; Fax: 408-325-7070 Communications Division (Supra brand modems) Main Phone Number: 360-604-1400; Fax: 360-604-1401 European Division (Germany): +49-8151-266-0; (UK): +44-1189-444400; (France) +33-47561157 Japanese Office (Tokyo): +81-3-5695-8401; Fax: +81-3-5695-8403 Asia-Pacific Sales and Support (Singapore): +65-254-3163; Fax: +65-254-3407 Support Information Line for Communications: 1-800-774-4965 Product Support (Voice), Visual Systems: 408-325-7100; Communications: 541-967-2450; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-330; Europe (UK) +44-1189-444444; ISDN Support Center 408-325-7110; Fire GL Support Center 408-325-7120 Product Support (Fax), Visual Systems: 408-325-7171; Communications: 541-967-2401; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-331; Europe (UK): +44-1189-444445; (France) +33-1-47561139 Pre-sales Information, Visual Systems: 1-800-468-5846; Communications: 1-800-727-8772 Investor Relations: 408-325-7476; Fax-On-Demand: 1-800-346-3329; International Fax-On-Demand: 201-433-1778 24-Hour Fax-On-Demand Service, Visual Systems: 1-800-380-0030; Communications: 541-967-0072 America Online (Keyword: DIAMOND; Email: SUPRACORP2) CompuServe: Visual Systems: (GO DIAMOND); Communications: (GO SUPRA); Europe: (GO SPEA) FTP sites: ftp.diamondmm.com; or Supra: ftp.supra.com BBS for Visual Systems 408-325-7080 (to 14.4 Kbps) or 408-325-7175 (to 28.8 Kbps) or 408-383-0551 (ISDN); Communications BBS: 541-967-2444; Europe (Germany) BBS at +49-8151-266241 (to 14.4 Kbps) or +49-8151-12921 (to 28.8 Kbps) or +49-8151-78001 (ISDN); Europe (UK) at +44-1189-444415

3Dfx Interactive

3Dfx Interactive, Inc., founded in 1994, is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, California. 3Dfx Interactive brings together a team of leading professionals from the 3D graphics, video game, multimedia, PC, and semiconductor industries to provide advanced technology that enables new levels of interactive 3D electronic entertainment.

Major consumer and coin-op/arcade OEMs have announced support for the chipset, including Acclaim Entertainment, Diamond Multimedia, Falcon Northwest Computer Systems, Hewlett-Packard Company, Interactive Light, NEC Technologies, Orchid Technologies, and Williams-Atari-Bally-Midway. -0-
Monster 3D Press Release Attachment 1

 3D Features and Benefits Chart

Features Benefits
-------- --------
Texture modulation Provides diffuse lighting
 effects on a texture

Perspective-correct Makes distant objects
texture mapping appear closer

Z-buffering Places objects where they
 belong in scenes

Level-of-detail MIP mapping Eliminates texture aliasing
 or "sparkling"

Bi-linear and Tri-linear Eliminates pixelization
filtering or "blockiness"

Texture compositing and morphing Eliminates object "popping"

Animated textures Provides the illusion of
 motion on a 3D surface

Anti-aliasing Eliminates "jaggies"

Gouraud shading Provides specular and
 diffuse lighting effects

Sub-pixel correction Improves image quality

Per-pixel alpha blending effects Makes fog and glass look real

Industry standard OS and Simplifies game software
APIs supported support and development


Monster 3D Press Release Attachment 2

Diamond's Monster 3D Software Bundle

Descent II: Destination Quartzon 3D Developer/Publisher: Interplay Productions

Interplay's popular Descent II: Destination Quartzon 3D expands the original 3D, 360 degree world of Descent with eight new levels of intensive head-to-head combat against unpredictable, energy-depleting robots. Die-hard gamers will find it difficult to control the adrenaline rush while playing this new mind-scrambling, stomach-turning adventure using Diamond's Monster 3D accelerator.

Whiplash Developer: Gremlin Interactive Publisher: Interplay Productions

Interplay's Whiplash is an intense 3D racing game that allows up to 16 players to compete against each other or artificial intelligence drivers in real-time, full-contact racing with one-of-a-kind death-defying stunts. Players test their skills in one of eight prototype Supercars on a racing circuit that pushes both driver and car to the limit.

VR Soccer '96 Developer: Gremlin Interactive Publisher: VR Sports, the sports division of Interplay Productions

VR Sports' Actua Soccer '96 is a state-of-the-art soccer simulation that uses Virtual Field Visiona technology that lets gamers view the perspective on the field the same way real players see the action. Featuring 360 degree, 3D environments, gamers can change camera angles to view the action from any position. The game also incorporates VR Sports' Interactive Motion Capture technology, resulting in very smooth, real-time player movements and increased player control. Up to twenty players can compete in network play.

MechWarrior 2 Developer/Publisher: Activision

One of the best-selling action-simulation games, MechWarrior 2 unleashes 15 customizable BattleMechs(R) and more than 20 intense missions in real-time 3D. Strapped into a virtual cockpit that thunders with every blast, players battle across a variety of planetary terrain in the ultimate 31st-century combat experience. MechWarrior 2 is available on PC CD-ROM and Windows 95.

Hyberblade Developer/Publisher: Activision

Launching a new generation of cyber-sports, Hyberblade is one of the first fast-paced multi-player futuristic sports titles. Featuring real-time 3D graphics, outstanding gameplay and sensational sound design, the game combines the hard-hitting action of hockey, soccer, lacrosse and extreme skiing. Competing in a 3D virtual arena, players plunge into the ultimate 21st century battle sport without any rules. Armed with a jak (throwing device), a rok (projectile) and a custom armor suit, players charge and penetrate the opposing team's zone as they avoid bone-jarring body checks and attempt to score goals.

Scorched Planet Developer: Criterion Studios Publisher: Virgin Interactive Entertainment

Scorched Planet is a fast paced 3D action/strategy game featuring 19 action-packed missions across seven huge and hostile terrains. With the ultimate balance of strategy and pure adrenaline, the player must emerge from his void existence as a drunken has been and ex-commander Alex Gibson, and take to the skies in his Type 16 Morphing craft to rescue the humans from Dator 5. The Monster 3D version of Scorched Planet being played on a Pentium 120 computer at 640x480 runs at double the frame rate and features realistic environments that are fully lit, fogged and have bilinear filtered textures.

Tomb Raider Developer: Core Design Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Tomb Raider is a graphically intense, real time 3D action-adventure game that is played from a behind-the-back point of view. Gamers become the gun-toting Lara Croft, a take-no-prisoners "Indiana-Jones-meets-La-Femme-Nikita" character. When played using the Diamond Monster 3D accelerator with Voodoo Graphics technology, the speed of gameplay and the heroine's fluid movement and texture detail are accelerated to pure beauty. Special effects provide glowing light reflections and shadows like no other.

Microsoft's Game Sampler 2 for Windows 95 Developer: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft

Microsoft's Game Sampler 2 for Windows 95 includes demos of the Direct3D games Monster Truck Madness and Hellbender, in addition to various samples of DirectDraw games.

EF2000 Developer: Digital Image Design, Inc. Publisher: OCEAN of America

The storyline of EF2000 occurs within the next decade, when the key front-line defensive fighter plane for the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain will be retired from service. The need to provide a replacement to defend the sovereignty of these four nations, at a time of increased instability in the world, is an urgent and critical issue. The EF2000 is the answer -- an agile, single-seat air superiority fighter with a ground attack capability. It is designed to defeat all known and projected adversaries in the air in the defense of our homelands and in support of our allies for at least the next 30 years! -0-

Monster 3D, NetCommander and Supra are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. All other trademarks referenced are the service mark, trademark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers. This announcement relates to products whose launch are in the United States of America. The product names, contents, prices and availability may differ elsewhere in the world according to local factors and requirements.

CONTACT: Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc.

Kim Stowe, 408/325-7204

kims@diamondmm.com

or

Faiola Davis Public Relations

Andrea Sausedo, 213/933-4959

fdpr1@aol.com

or

3Dfx Interactive

Wendy Allen, 408/935-4459

wallen@3dfx.com
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 31, 1996
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