SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep Unveils the Saga's Untold Origins Today

Highly Anticipated Prequel Ships to North American Retailers, Limited Edition PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system Entertainment Pack Also Available

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is now available at North American retailers. Developed exclusively for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, this latest installment reveals the origins of the hugely popular franchise and is an essential experience for new players jumping into the series for the first time as well as returning players uncovering the secrets of the iconic franchise.

A unique gaming experience that unfolds through the perspectives of three different main characters, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep allows players to explore the worlds of their favorite Disney stories. With settings new to the series, such as Sleeping Beauty's Enchanted Dominion, the Dwarf Woodlands from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Deep Space from Lilo & Stitch, this prequel takes players through a magical journey of courage and friendship, all with an enhanced, action-packed battle system.

Also available today is the limited edition KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep PSP system Entertainment Pack from Square Enix and Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, exclusively at GameStop stores nationwide. This bundle includes a "Mystic Silver" PSP-3000 system, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep on UMD® (Universal Media Disc), a 50-song voucher for Sony MusicPass and a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM).

With four all-new multiplayer modes that allow players to enjoy the action with their friends as well as brand-new features for the North American release, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is a robust portable gaming experience. Additionally, the game features the voice talents of an incredible cast of actors including Jason Dohring, Mark Hamill, Willa Holland, Jesse McCartney, Haley Joel Osment, Leonard Nimoy and James Woods.

"Working on an iconic series such as KINGDOM HEARTS has been a truly unique and wonderful experience. I am honored to have been chosen to take part!" - Jason Dohring

"I really enjoyed lending my voice to KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep. Big story. Big ideas." - Leonard Nimoy

"It was a privilege to create the character of Hades for Disney, and a thrill to see it come to life again in KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep." - James Woods

Today, discover firsthand why KINGDOM HEARTS is a video game franchise loved the world over with more than 14 million copies shipped. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep delivers an unforgettable story that will stay with players for years to come.

Story

Long before Sora was chosen by his Keyblade, the worlds' safety lay in the hands of the true Keyblade Masters.

Three youths - Terra, Ventus and Aqua - have been training long and hard under Master Eraqus to prove that they, too, exhibit the Mark of Mastery.

But they will soon find themselves in the middle of a crisis affecting worlds far beyond their own - just as another Keyblade Master, Xehanort, goes mysteriously missing.

Three friends, three destinies. Everything will link back to the beginning.

Features

  • An essential piece to the KINGDOM HEARTS series arrives on the PSP system: From world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura comes the latest installment in the beloved KINGDOM HEARTS series. The vibrant and colorful KINGDOM HEARTS world comes to life in 16:9 widescreen presentation, through stunning graphics made possible by the PSP system hardware.
  • Disney worlds and characters new to the KINGDOM HEARTS series: Disney worlds and characters never before seen in KINGDOM HEARTS, such as Enchanted Dominion (Sleeping Beauty) and Castle of Dreams (Cinderella) will make their first appearances in KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep.
  • Three distinct gaming experiences through the eyes of three protagonists: Unravel the mystery surrounding the origin of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga through the tales of three unique characters - Terra, Ventus and Aqua. The whole story is revealed only after playing through with all three characters.
  • An action-packed combat system with intuitive controls: The familiar action-packed experience that KINGDOM HEARTS fans have come to embrace returns with an enhanced battle system and all-new features such as Command Styles, Command Decks, Shotlocks and Dimension Links. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is the most advanced KINGDOM HEARTS title to date.
  • Four exciting multiplayer modes: Experience the excitement and fun with your friends with four brand-new multiplayer modes: Versus Mode, Arena Mode, Command Board and Rumble Racing.
  • New game features: The North American release will include a number of new features, including an extra boss, additional multiplayer options and Crown Stickers: a reward system where players earn prizes by collecting and placing stickers into an album.
  • An outstanding voice cast: KINGDOM HEARTS fans will surely be in for one unforgettable experience, thanks to an impressive voice cast featuring the talents of Mark Hamill, Willa Holland, Jesse McCartney, Leonard Nimoy and James Woods, among others.

KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older). Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is available for the PSP system at North American retailers nationwide for the suggested retail price of $39.99.

The official website can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/khbbs.

About Square Enix, Inc.

Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S. based wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd., a holding company leading Square Enix Group. Square Enix, Inc. publishes and distributes entertainment content under the Square Enix Group's internationally renowned brands such as Square Enix, Eidos and Taito in the Americas. The Square Enix Group includes a global network of leading development studios located in North America, Europe and Japan. The Group boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 97 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 54 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and other well-established products and services.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.square-enix.com.

About Disney Interactive Studios

Disney Interactive Studios, part of Disney Interactive Media Group, is the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). Disney Interactive Studios self publishes and distributes a broad portfolio of multi-platform video games, mobile games and interactive entertainment worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with other interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market. Disney Interactive Studios is based in Glendale, California, and has internal development studios around the world. For more information, log on to http://www.disneyinteractivestudios.com.

© 2010 Disney. Developed by Square Enix

DRAGON QUEST, FINAL FANTASY, SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. Eidos and Tomb Raider are registered trademarks of Square Enix, Ltd. "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. GameStop is a registered trademark of GameStop, Inc.

SOURCE Square Enix, Inc.

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