NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA and BEDMINSTER, NJ — Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) and Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, today announced Kingdom Hearts, a 3D mobile game inspired by the award-winning Disney Interactive video game console franchise of the same name, launches today on V CAST from Verizon Wireless the first true 3G wireless broadband consumer multimedia service in the country that allows customers to view crystal clear 3D game graphics and short content. V CAST runs on Verizon Wireless' Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network the only widely available wide-area wireless broadband network in the United States. The V CAST coverage area, which mirrors Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network, is available in more than 30 major metropolitan markets and covers more than 75 million people.
The mobile Kingdom Hearts game offers an original adventure featuring Sora, bearer of the KeyBlade. Players find Sora stranded on a deserted island and must help him find the supplies needed to escape off the island. Along the way, Sora uncovers a series of puzzles and must battle creatures known as the Heartless. As Sora progresses through each level, more details about his task at hand are unveiled. More than 20 characters provide Sora guidance and entertainment throughout his journey.
"Kingdom Hearts is a fantastic mobile game with great characters, action and imagery that could only be realized with 3D technologies made possible by 3G," said Larry Shapiro, executive vice president of business development and operations for WDIG. "Verizon Wireless' V CAST is a major step forward for wireless entertainment. With it consumers can truly experience mobile entertainment, and for games, that means gameplay that they've come to expect from consoles and PCs."
"We're excited that major publishers such as WDIG are creating advanced mobile content that our V CAST multimedia service makes possible," said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "This is a big step forward in wireless content and services and Kingdom Hearts mobile is not only a great game, but a great example of the superior quality games that advanced phones and services can deliver."
For $15.00 monthly access added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan, customers get the V CAST VPak which includes unlimited access to a wide array of more than 300 daily updated video clips and short content from leading content providers. Unlimited basic video clips are included, but application download fees will still apply for 3D games, premium video clips, and all other Get It Now® applications. There are no airtime charges to download or stream and watch V CAST short content. For a limited time, customers who sign up for V CAST receive two months of service free. Verizon Wireless V CAST customers also receive monthly access and unlimited browsing on Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web 2.0SMnews and information service. In addition, customers can choose from premium video clip content, available at additional cost that will include music videos and more.
V CAST's array of hot new multimedia programming is located in the Get It Now virtual store. Customers can access video clips of their favorite news, sports and entertainment providers in the getVIDEO shopping aisle and check out new cutting-edge 3D games, including Kingdom Hearts, in the 3D Games section of the getGAMES aisle. V CAST also gives customers unlimited airtime to browse applications in the other familiar Get It Now shopping aisles such as getTONES and getGOING.
Kingdom Hearts is available in the getGAMES shopping aisle of the Get It Now virtual store for a $4.99 monthly subscription. V CAST customers can play Kingdom Hearts on the new 3G-capable VX8000 phone that allows customers to download content with just a few clicks and experience outstanding clarity and sharpness. The LG VX8000 is available to Verizon Wireless customers for $199.99 after $70 rebate with a two-year customer agreement. V CAST customers can also find Kingdom Hearts on the Samsung a890, which is $249.99 after a $70 rebate with a two-year customer agreement, and the CDM8940 from UTStarcom Personal Communications (formerly Audiovox Communications Corp.) for $229.99 after a $70 rebate with a two-year customer agreement.
For more information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or visit www.verizonwireless.com.
(EDITORS: High-resolution images of Kingdom Hearts on V CAST are available online. Log on to www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia to preview and request images.)
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Walt Disney Internet GroupWalt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) provides strategic leadership and operational management for The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) Internet properties including category leaders Disney.com, ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com. A market leader in developing and distributing entertainment and informational content to new platforms, WDIG is committed to creating and delivering products for broadband distribution including: ABC News On Demand, a subscription video news service that offers the Internet's first 24-hour, live Internet-only news channel and top ABC News programs for on demand viewing; Disney Connection; and WDIG Motion, a proprietary video technology for broadband users. Through relationships with some of the world's largest wireless carriers, WDIG distributes content and services to wireless users under the Disney, ESPN and ABC brands. Additionally, WDIG has led the way in developing interactive content for televised programming through its Enhanced TV service. Steve Wadsworth is president of WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood and has operations in Seattle, New York, Orlando, Tokyo and London.####