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Sprint Showcases Next-Generation Game Console at E3 Expo
Posted: 21-May-2002 [Source: Sprint press release]

[Sprint looking to become a leader in 3G mobile gaming with a flurry of announcements from the E3 Expo currently underway in LA.]

E3 Expo, Los Angeles, Calif. -- Mobile Gaming is about to explode. Sprint, which operates the largest all-digital, all-PCS nationwide wireless network and is the fastest growing wireless carrier, plans to bring mobile entertainment, valued by casual and core gamers alike, to the next level. The mobility of Sprint's PCS Phones - the ultimate portable game consoles - combined with the enhanced speeds and graphics of Third-Generation (3G) technology, means gamers will be spending as much time with their phones as they do on their phones, as they grab a little action on the go. Companies that have entered agreements to provide key cutting-edge 3G game content to Sprint include Sega, THQ, Midway Games, Cybiko, JAMDAT Mobile, nGame and Blue Lava Wireless. Consumers will get a first look at wireless versions of popular games such as Golden Tee Golf, Tetris, Defender, WWE Mobile Madness and Monkey Ball, on Sprint's 3G PCS Phones at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, May 22 - 24 in Los Angeles.

"The next evolution of gaming is clearly wireless. With Sprint's 3G wireless network, customers will be moving their PCS Phones from their ears to their eyes as they play the hottest selection of games. It's wireless you can hear and play from Sprint," said Chip Novick, vice president of consumer marketing for Sprint's PCS Division.

"Wireless 3G games from Sprint will arm customers with a better interactive gaming experience through 3G-enabled PCS Phones using the Java 2 platform, Micro Edition (J2METM). And by teaming up with leaders in the gaming industry, Sprint is clearly delivering on its promise to provide fun and exciting wireless entertainment to its customers."

For Sprint customers, 3G1X services are planned to launch nationwide this summer. At launch, Sprint expects faster wireless data speeds and enhancements for existing applications and services when using a 3G enabled device. Sprint's 3G technology also establishes a platform for later releases of new and more robust applications as data speeds increase including enhanced games, video and audio clips, enhanced messaging, email with attachments, high-speed Internet browsing and digital imaging. Specifically for games, 3G enables Sprint to move the game experience from the text-based games of today to graphic, full-color brand name games on 3G-enabled PCS Phones that support J2METM.

Computer/electronic games have become a major industry, and market research shows the gaming phenomenon continues to grow in popularity:

The Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) estimates that more than 219 million computer and video games were sold in 2000 - almost two games for every household in the U.S. Research firm NPD Group says retails sales of video games, including hardware, software and accessories, reached a record $9.4 billion in 2001, up 42 percent from the previous year's sales of $6.6 billion. Forrester Research predicts that the U.S. video games market will grow to $29 billion by 2005. With research firm DataMonitor forecasting that 93 million people will be playing wireless games in 2006 - up from 21.6 million people in 2001 - it's evident that gaming's growing popularity is extending to the wireless space. And with mobile phone ownership rising - there are nearly 136 million current U.S. wireless subscribers according to The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) - games will be able to reach core and casual game players like never before.

Sprint was the first wireless carrier to launch wireless games in October 2000 and currently offers more than 60 games on the PCS Wireless WebSM. Sprint offers the largest selection of both single-player and multi-player, networked games in a variety of categories - such as action, adventure, casino, classics, puzzles and sports - that challenge and entertain all levels of players. With the planned launch of Sprint's 3G wireless network this summer, Sprint expects to continue to provide the biggest and best selection of games to its customers on dynamic, full color screens.

As Sprint's 3G services evolve, the capabilities of wireless games will also evolve - customers can expect more complex, color graphics, and eventually 3D graphics.

Sprint's 3G wireless games are planned to evolve from launch and potentially allow customers to:

Access scoreboards, user statistics, and other player information Review the latest game releases, and Find "cheats" (helpful hints) to a favorite game on a wireless device while playing on their console. The most innovative 3G games will utilize J2METM enhancing the consumer experience by enabling advanced graphics and fun, personalized interactive services for wireless devices. By using J2METM technology, Sprint will make devices smarter, enabling consumers to download interactive applications to their wireless device regardless of location. Another key attribute to incorporating J2METM technology into a wireless device is that it enables consumers to continually upgrade the applications on a device once it has been purchased. Since J2METM is an industry standard, the same software and applications can work on a variety of different devices

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