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University production duo named as top artists inspired by Xbox 360 games as Microsoft reveal their collaboration with Universal Music on a new gaming album - START

LONDON - 22nd August 2007 - Today it was announced that a pair of university students, Sam Featherstone and Nick Worpole, have been crowned as the UK winners of the Xbox Soundtracks competition, having submitted the top rated track to the contest site. For the past month thousands of musicians and gamers alike from across Europe have been creating new music tracks inspired by the latest high-definition games on the Xbox 360. From the colourful fantasy of Viva Piñata to the gritty battles of Halo 3, DJs, bands and composers have created tracks cut to a wide range of latest Xbox 360 titles. Gaming and music fans alike then logged on to view and rate the entries, with Sam and Nick emerging as the winner.

Nick, 22, and Sam, 21, are both university students who have been friends since forming a band together at school, and heard about the Soundtracks competition after reading about it on Xbox Live. They based their winning entry on the trailer for forthcoming Xbox 360 title Assassin Creed using synthesizers, a live guitar and the impressive vocals of a friend to produce a track the judges of the competition deemed a perfect fit for the stunning visuals of the trailer. It took Sam and Nick three weeks to produce and their efforts will see them get to spend time in a Universal recording studio with a professional engineer.

Nick said: 'Sam and I are both really passionate about our music and our gaming, so it has been great to be able to combine the two in such a fun way. We wanted to make something that complemented the dynamics of the trailer and that sounded impressive enough to win over musicians and gamers alike - now we've won, we can't wait to claim our prize!'

To accompany Xbox Soundtracks, which is all about creating your own soundtrack to your gaming whatever your personal taste, Microsoft today also revealed they have been working on a compilation album with Universal Music based around the idea of gaming. START is designed as a selection of tunes to wrap your ears around and get you started with your alternative game soundtracks. Artists included on the album range from Kasabian to the Scissor Sisters remix of Halo Wars that started the whole project. The album will be available across Europe next month.

Musical superstars from around the world have also taken part in the project with Scissor Sisters cutting a re-mix to Halo Wars and Roger Sanchez creating an exclusive track to accompany upcoming Xbox 360 game Too Human. Entrants to the competition could find these and loads of other tunes created especially for Xbox Soundtracks from top DJs and bands at http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/music to help inspire their own creation.

Andrew Daw Universal Music's International Marketing Director USM said "We are really excited to be involved with Xbox Soundtracks. It's been amazing to see the great tracks all the musicians involved in the project have created, inspired by the amazing graphics on the Xbox 360. Now, we're really looking forward to the launch of the 'Xbox Soundtracks presents START' album to give gamers even more choice of what to listen to while they are playing the latest Xbox 360 titles."

Stephen McGill, Microsoft's Head of Gaming and Entertainment said: 'We received a huge number of high quality entrants to the competition and were overwhelmed with the response. Whilst the overall standard was incredibly high, Sam and Nick's entry was outstanding. It was great to see young, experienced musicians be inspired by gaming to create music like this and that passion really came through in their track."

The lucky winners will get to visit Universal Music studio to record their tune with the help of top producers and engineers. The winners can be viewed online so to hear how the hottest new music-makers have been inspired by their favourite Xbox games, view our judges' favourites and of course the winning track simply visit http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/music.

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For further information please contact:

Charlie Fortescue / 020 7208 5544 / charlie_fortescue@jcpr.com

Seema Parmar / 020 7208 7201 / seema_parmar@jcpr.com

More info on Sam Featherstone and Nick Worpole available at: www.myspace.com/FeatherBrick

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox LIVE online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalogue of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


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