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Microsoft Train Simulator 1.0
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will release "Microsoft® Train Simulator," a software program designed to simulate the thrills of the railways on the personal computer, in the spring of 2001. Attendees at the National Model Railroad Association's (NMRA) National Train Show next week in San Jose, Calif., will be the first to see an early version of the software and experience the excitement and adventure of "Microsoft Train Simulator."
"Train Simulator" aims to bring the most true-to-life virtual train experience to the PC. Working in cooperation with six of the world's leading railroads, Microsoft is re-creating hundreds of miles of routes with realistic scenery, equipment and operations. Using multiple camera angles, players can take on the role of an engineer, passenger or bystander.
Lifelike engineer's control panels, scenery and weather; and accurate elevations and terrain data mirror real-world train travel. Player activities can include anything from keeping passenger time schedules while managing unforeseen barriers and negotiating freight through mountain passes in winter storms to navigating some of the world's busiest commuter lines.
"Microsoft Train Simulator" comes from the simulations group at Microsoft, distinguished for developing the world's best-selling PC-game software, "Microsoft Flight Simulator." Long synonymous with exacting standards of quality and realism, the simulations group at Microsoft is dedicated to providing both flight and rail fans with experiences that are "as real as it gets."
"Our 18-year commitment to simulations continues with 'Microsoft Train Simulator,'" said Mike Geertsen, product planner in the simulations product unit at Microsoft. "We are excited to create a product that brings the thrill of trains and railroading to the general public and allows train enthusiasts and modelers to extend their hobby onto their personal computers."
Players can operate nine different trains, ranging from steam locomotives and modern diesels to high-speed electric "bullet trains," as they travel any of six famous rail routes from around the globe. These routes include both historic and contemporary rail operations.
The six railroads included in "Microsoft Train Simulator" are listed below:
· Amtrak. Players can race up and down the busy northeastern corridor of the United States as the "bullet train" comes to America with Amtrak's new Acela high-speed train.
· Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Users experience the challenges and awesome power of moving today's freight through the spectacular Marias Pass and along the southern border of Glacier National Park in Montana.
· The Flying Scotsman Railways. Enthusiasts chug along some of England's most beautiful countryside in the late 1920s in what is arguably the world's most famous steam locomotive.
· Kyushu Railway Co. Users explore the mountainous Hisatsu line on Japan's southern island of Kyushu.
· Odakyu Electric Railway. Players navigate one of the busiest commuter lines out of Tokyo or take in the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Fuji.
· The Venice-Simplon Orient Express. Participants visit the Austrian Alps in the 1930s for the ultimate in romantic European steam train travel.
As it did with the "Flight Simulator" series, Microsoft developed "Microsoft Train Simulator" with open architecture and tools, and designed it as a train-simulation platform for home entertainment. These features enable enthusiasts and third-party developers to customize and extend the product by creating new trains, routes, scenery, world objects and challenges.
The NMRA National Train Show takes place Aug. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center. Attendees can test-drive "Microsoft Train Simulator" at booth 592-594. More information about the train show can be found on the NMRA's Web site at http://www.nmra.org/.
Scheduled for broad availability in spring 2001, "Microsoft Train Simulator" will deliver unparalleled realism, enabling PC users to accurately re-create railroading adventures from a desktop. "Microsoft Train Simulator" is being developed in conjunction with United Kingdom-based Kuju Entertainment. More information on Kuju Entertainment is available on the Web at http://www.kuju.com/.
More information about "Microsoft Train Simulator" and the participating railroads is available on its official Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/trainsim/.