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Microsoft, Reliance to hold gaming contest

By A Correspondent in Bangalore
November 13, 2003 16:01 IST
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To give a boost to the nascent gaming industry in India, Microsoft Game Studios and Reliance WebWorld have partnered to launch the Halo Multiplayer Championship.

The championship has been designed to reach out to 7,000 gaming enthusiasts in India who can play and win with Halo -- an action sci-fi adventure from Microsoft -- at designated Reliance WebWorld outlets hosting the tournament in their city.

Halo is a science fiction epic adventure Microsoft game which was initially launched on the XBOX console. After being on the Xbox Console for over a year and selling over 3 million copies, it is now being launched in a PC version by popular demand.

The PC version of Halo has been optimised for the Windows platform enabling as many as 16 players to play online together at the same time.

"Gaming is the second most popular usage category for the PC today after e-mail and word processing. With countries across the world already witnessing exponential growth patterns in the gaming space, its time that the Indian gaming community which is in its initial stages of evolution gets exposure to world-class gaming products and devices," says Yolanda Chan, sales director (Asia), Microsoft Home & Entertainment Division.

Reliance WebWorld outlets will serve as the tournament centres.

All participants will be entitled to eight hours of free practice time at designated Reliance WebWorld outlets hosting the tournament.

The championship will be conducted across 7 cities in India: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Phase I, which is from November 15 to December 15, involves registration and practice by participants and will be followed by the preliminary and semi-final rounds in Phase 2 from December 19-21. The finals will be on December 28 at the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City in Navi Mumbai.

The all-India winner will get a cash prize of Rs 100,000 as well as all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to participate in the Worldwide Halo Championships Final.

The second and third prize winners will get cash prizes of Rs 35,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively, while the winners who bag the fourth to eighth position will get Rs 2,000 each. Additionally, winners in each city will also be given cash prizes.

Reliance WebWorld, part of Reliance Infocomm, is setting up a nationwide chain of retail outlets for digital entertainment and communication and will serve as a one-stop-shop for Reliance Infocomm products and services.

Reliance WebWorld will cover 600 cities across India by its optical fibre cable network making it the largest retail project ever undertaken.

Each outlet will have three key modules: the Customer Convenience Center which will be a sales and services channel for Reliance India Mobile; Javagreen, a gourmet coffee bar; and Broadband center to showcase the power and high speed of Ethernet broadband connectivity through applications like video chat and conferencing, multiplayer on-line gaming, digital personalised music, digital theatre, digital photo imaging, virtual office, video conferencing room and high speed Internet.

"Multiplayer online gaming is one of the key broadband applications at WebWorld featuring the best of PC games. This association with Microsoft Game Studios for the Halo Multiplayer Championship is a great beginning for gaming at WebWorlds in India," says Sarup Chowdhary, CEO, Reliance WebWorld.

The championship proceedings will be on television by Ten Sports, which is the media partner for the event, while Intel is the lead sponsor of the event.

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