Popular Snowboarding Franchise Makes a Second Run Down Xbox Mountain —

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that “Amped 2,” the highly anticipated second installment in the popular snowboarding franchise exclusively for the Xbox®, has pulled some sick maneuvers on its way to stores in North America. “Amped 2″ will be available wherever video games are sold on October 30 for an estimated retail price of $49.99.

“Amped 2,” part of the new XSN Sports„¢ brand from Microsoft Game Studios, is the ultimate freestyle snowboarding experience, offering one of the largest, most varied trick libraries of any snowboarding game and vast areas of wide-open, spectacularly rendered real world mountains. With the addition of Xbox Live„¢ and XSN Sports, “Amped 2″ gives snowboarding fans the ability to challenge riders around the globe, track stats and check regional and worldwide ladders to see who is on top of the snowboarding world. For the next few weeks, gamers have an opportunity to hone their skills in “Amped 2″ against challengers both online and off. All XSN Sports’ features and functionality — including official XSN Sports “Amped 2″ events — will officially become available to riders on November 18.

“Amped 2″ has a variety of new features including: ¿

Whole new bag of tricks: “Amped 2″ takes all the moves from “Amped” and adds new aerial tricks; advanced grabs; a full set of styled-out rail slides, tweaks, stalls, and hand and foot plants; and introduces “Butter,” the center of a new combo system that allows nose and tail manuals to link tricks together. ¿

The Pack. XSN Sports and XSNsports.com bring this important piece of mountain culture to the console world. The fundamental snowboarding unit, the pack, comes alive as XSN Sports allows gamers to join a pack of riders or start their own. ¿

Events. XSN Sports gives gamers the ability to organize their own custom events. Set up a start date, an end date, the host mountain and the type of event — style, combos, or jibs and up to 64 contestants can take a shot at your title online via Xbox Live. ¿

Snowskate. This new way to ride is a fresh new snow sport that is just gaining in popularity on the mountains. Snowskate, similar to skateboarding on the snow, opens up a new set of tricks to master including kick flips, shove-its, and one-foot lip tricks. ¿

Ultimate snowboarding environments: “Amped 2″ features some of the greatest snowboarding mountains in the world including: Laax in Switzerland, Mt. Buller in Australia, Mt. Hood in Oregon, Bear Mountain in California and Breckenridge in Colorado. ¿

Fourteen of the top professionals: “Amped 2″ features 14 top snowboarding pros, including Jeremy Jones, Mikey LeBlanc, Travis Parker, Bjorn Leines, Bobby Meeks and Torah Bright.

Gamers everywhere will be able to feel what it’s like to live the life of a real professional snowboarder. Travel the globe, and pull sick tricks in front of sponsors, photographers, and fans. Build fame, and get photos and demo reels in the latest snowboard magazine or video.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for Windows®, Xbox® video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as Age of Empires®, Flight Simulator and Zoo Tycoon®; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as Halo®, Project Gotham Racing® and NFL Fever; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as Bejeweled and OutSmart(tm).