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MICROSOFT CO., LTD. AND SOFTBANK CORP. FORM WINDOWS 95 GAMES ALLIANCE

TOKYO, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Co., Ltd. and SOFTBANK Corporation today announced an alliance to publish and promote personal computer game software for the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 95 operating system. The two companies plan to establish a joint venture, GAMEBANK Corporation, to port game software to the Windows 95 platform in Japan.

Headed by Masayoshi Son, president of SOFTBANK, GAMEBANK will secure publishing rights from game software manufacturers and handle marketing, sales, and distribution of games software in Japan. Porting of game software to the Windows 95 platform will be handled by GAMEBANK, Kinesoft, an Illinois-based software porting tool developer that was acquired by SOFTBANK in late May 1995, and others.

Early support by Japanese game manufacturers for the new venture is strong. The following companies announced today that they plan to work with GAMEBANK: ARTDINK CORPORATION, BANDAI CO., LTD., CAPCOM CO., LTD., CHUN SOFT CO., LTD., NAMCO LTD., SNK CORPORATION, TAKARA CO., LTD., TAITO CORP., and T&E SOFT, Inc.

Worldwide, the home video game category is enjoying steady growth based on the popularity of games with increasingly realistic sound and graphics. Until now, the PC has remained a small player in this market compared to TV consoles because of the PC's inferior hardware and software performance for games. The advent of Windows 95 will change that by including functionality to make PCs a superior gaming platform. These improvements will likely expand the overall gaming demand, and benefit the industry, by adding a whole new medium in which to play games.

Windows 95 Support for Games

Windows 95 will feature important advantages as a gaming platform including better graphics, easy connectivity, and high-fidelity and low-latency sound. The new operating system is expected to greatly improve PC game response speed, graphics performance, and multimedia functionality, bringing PC game performance up to par with TV console games.

At the Computer Game Developers Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. in April, Microsoft announced the beta release of a Windows 95 Software Development Kit (SDK) and game subsystem specifically designed to provide game developers with the tools, technology and system services they need to create high performance games for Windows 95. To further reinforce its commitment to Windows 95 as a gaming platform in Japan, Microsoft will hold a Game Developers Conference in Tokyo this Fall to help Japanese developers take advantage of this new game technology.

GAMEBANK will help port games to Windows 95 in conjunction with game software publishers, home-use TV game software manufacturers, commercial arcade game software manufacturers, and PC game software manufacturers by helping provide game software manufacturers with new business opportunities on the Windows 95 platform.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Founded in 1981, SOFTBANK is Japan's largest distributor of computer software, peripherals, and systems, as well as Japan's largest publisher of computer-related magazines and books. SOFTBANK, whose stock is traded over-the-counter in Tokyo, had revenues of approximately $1 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1995. It has approximately 780 employees in Japan. SOFTBANK's U.S. subsidiaries and joint ventures include: UCA&L, which provides telemarketing and fulfillment services to software developers; Phoenix Publishing Systems, which publishes the software and documentation that personal-computer manufacturers bundle with their products; and SOFTBANK COMDEX, Inc. and SOFTBANK Exposition and Conference Co., which produce a number of trade shows worldwide, including COMDEX, Windows World, NETWORLD+INTEROP and WINDOWS SOLUTIONS.

Overview of GAMEBANK Corporation

Company Name:

GAMEBANK Kabushiki Kaisha (in Japanese)

GAMEBANK Corporation (in English)

Date of Establishment:

July 10, 1995

President:

Masayoshi Son (President of SOFTBANK)

Capitalization:

450 million yen

Capitalization Ratio:
 Microsoft Co. Ltd.: 40%
 SOFTBANK Corporation: 60%


Address:

GAMEBANK K.K.

c/o SOFTBANK Corp.

3-42-3 Nihonbashi-Hamacho

Chuo-ku Tokyo 103 Japan

NOTE: Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Crop. in the United States and other countries.
 -0- 6/22/95


/NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in receiving Microsoft press releases by fax, please call 1-800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201- 333-0314 internationally. If you are interested in viewing this release and other Microsoft information online, please check out the Microsoft News Database (go msnews) on CompuServe. To join CompuServe call 1-800- 524-3388 and ask for Rep. #621./

/CONTACT: Press Only: Kay Morita of Microsoft Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, 81-3-5454-8013; Andrea Cook of Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., 206-936-4436/

(MSFT)

CO: Microsoft Corp.; SOFTBANK Corp.; GAMEBANK Corp. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU: JVN

JH -- SE001 -- 8102 06/22/95 09:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1995
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